Cucumber Journey#1
2000   London — Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.

Cucumber Journey#2
2000   London — Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.

Cucumber Journey#3
2000   London — Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.

Cucumber Journey#4
2000   London — Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.

The train from London to Birmingham takes two hours, but I made the trip by boat in two weeks, on a canal built in the eighteenth century. During this trip, I made pickled vegetables.
The vegetables and cucumbers that I bought fresh in London were pickled by the time I reached Birmingham.
When I conceived of this project I didn’t know how to make pickles, but by the end of my trip I had learned something about it and my pickled tomatoes were quite good.
While traveling from London to Birmingham, I gathered recipes for pickles from people I met, and gazed at sheep and water birds as we passed them, and stared at leaves floating in the water. And I watched the cucumbers slowly turn into pickles.
An English couple, Geoff and Jean who were traveling with me taught me about the operation of the boat. I learned quite a bit about England while talking to them every day. Geoff and Jean began by saying, “Why is making pickles while traveling on a boat art?” But by the end they said, “Maybe it is art. Why not call it art?”
Geoff and Jean encouraged me to eat English cooking every day, and made me things like sausages and roast beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gobbling down this food, I got fatter than I had ever been before.
A boat trip and pickles: a slow trip and a slow food. There are places to which you can only travel slowly, and there are things that can only be made slowly.
Arriving in Birmingham, I gave away the pickles to my friends. The pickles will begin a new journey in people’s bodies.

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