Conflict Kitchen
June 1, 2019 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.

Pablo Garcia does work that is part reverse-engineering, part laboratory, part research art practice. Some links NSFW.

Webcam Venus in which online sexcam performers are asked to replicate iconic works of art.

Profilograph (After Dürer) used 3D printing to interpolate between profiles drawn by Dürer.

brbxoxo searches online sexcam sites and only broadcasts feeds when the performers are absent.

A public talk on context given at KIKK Festival, 2016.

Lots more at his site, and on Vimeo.
posted by stonepharisee (16 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I haven’t been to conflict kitchen since I lived in PGH and it had just opened, but it should be emphasized that in addition to a good political message, the food rules
posted by dis_integration at 10:49 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]

Is this a double?
posted by hugbucket at 11:10 AM on June 1

[That previous post was 9 yrs ago and this post has a bunch of other stuff, so I'm calling it not a double.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:12 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.

Depending on how you define "conflict" and given our president's habit of talking smack to and threatening all our allies, the menu must be world-encompassing.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:16 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]

cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.

So all of them?

His stuff is really neat. I like the memento mori selfie stick.
posted by jeather at 11:19 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

I thought it closed? Their homepage says so, as does Google. I never made it out there, unfortunately.
posted by cozenedindigo at 12:11 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]

Used to East out of the food stand they had down by Pitt and it was always popular and always good. Would love to see this concept adopted by other places around the country.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:13 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

I went there when I visited Pittsburgh a few years ago (the Cuban variation), I didn't quite get it then - the point was there, but not sharp. I didn't realize it was the "the only Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, Cuban restaurants the city has ever seen," until I read this, which makes the point clearer. In Chicago we have access to all of those cuisines, although they are not specifically branded as "conflict kitchens." The Afghan restaurant down the street from me does have a war rug hanging up above the cash register. Similar point, perhaps. Sharp edge.

The idea of a "conflict kitchen" reminds of me of Kabul House, also in Chicago. I went there for the first time with my father ~12 years ago, who'd recently returned from working as a civilian in Afghanistan - he wanted to try some Afghan food because he'd never had the opportunity while he was there, being forced to stay on the base the entire time. There was a pumpkin dish that I still dream of. The restaurant was started by a relative of Hamid Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai, and has been very successful. His life got much more complicated, it seems, after he returned to Afghanistan - he ran the province of Kandahar and it didn't go great.
posted by ProtoStar at 12:38 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

Would love to see this concept adopted by other places around the country.

Same. This is such a neat idea.
posted by mordax at 12:43 PM on June 1

(Maybe OT, but I always wanted McDonald’s to open a restaurant that served all the menu items the chain sells in its overseas markets, kind of like an hegemony buffet.)
posted by notyou at 12:47 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]

n.b.: Conflict Kitchen has been permanently closed for quite some time now.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:42 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]

Cool. This reminds me of web 2.0 era stuff. Like, it's a really well-done stunt. Like, the ubiquity of internet stunts has lowered the value of the currency, but this one is still really well done. I've got that ol' early naughts feeling in my browser.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:34 PM on June 1

They had Iroquois cuisine for a while.
posted by DarthDuckie at 9:35 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

I had a chance to eat there multiple times across a few different iterations when they were in Schenley plaza (which fit with the project a bit better I think -- the park-style outdoor seating encouraged more conversation). The Cuban and Palestinian menus were particularly good.

During the Palestinian Takeout incarnation, they received a death threat in response to publishing interviews with Palestinians on their food wrappers and closed for around a week. They thankfully reopened fairly quickly and local support for them was pretty strong.

It's hard to tell if it's prompted by the above, but they lost direct support from CMU (possibly a necessary lifeline, I'm not familiar with what the exact arrangement was) a few years later in 2017 and have been closed since then. Hopefully it's not permanent, but I haven't heard much from them in the past 2 years.

A connection: the East Liberty building at Baum & Highland which housed the original instantiation was also where The Last Billboard (previously) was located, before it was also taken down for similarly disappointing reasons.
posted by cwill at 11:35 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]

Webcam Venus strikes me as being somewhat exploitative, given that they used anonymous handles (and thus maybe not have told the performers what their intentions were). A lot of performers also tend to be pretty strict about what images leave the chat - partly because custom images are another avenue for them to make money, and partly because some of them want some level of anonymity so they don't release their faces that openly. (Also "transsexuals" as a separate gender urgh)

Do they know they were part of an art project? Did they consent to this? What would happen if they wanted their image to be taken down?
posted by divabat at 4:54 PM on June 2

Conflict Kitchen has been permanently closed for quite some time now.


I ate there a few times when I was an undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh. Iranian, Cuban, and Haudenosaunee food.
posted by dialMforMara at 6:59 PM on June 2

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