The kitchen of a shared student apartment in Dortmund, Germany has become the unlikely portal to a universe of glossy planets and cosmic landscapes. Or so it seems. On closer inspection, this ‘space stuff’ could have you squirming in revulsion, if only it wasn’t so beautiful. Photographers¬†Nikita Teryoshin and¬†Max Slobodda, now also known as¬†The K√ºchendienst Collective, document dishes far past after their eat-by-date, once mold in fantastic colours, shapes and textures has begun to emerge.
What began as discussions around their kitchen table about photography and their latest inspirations soon became still life experiments. Their kitchen became their studio.¬†The exploration of alternative materials, however, was entirely accidental after a “blue, yellow and sweating” pot of forgotten leftover spaghetti was found on their balcony. Before chucking it out they took photographs of it as a joke. After seeing the results, they say, “we decided to continue our documentation of things which once used to disgust us. In the following few weeks we began exploring our kitchen and especially our fridge to find some more treasures. Starting with rotten products we continued searching for beauty of form and contents in the microcosmos of our everyday kitchen objects. We like the idea of finding new perspectives on things in your immediate environment.”
Max being a vegan, and Nikita vegetarian,¬†the curdled and congealed ingredients in the images are 100% vegan: soy yogurt and coconut milk being their favourites to work with so far.
It has been an interesting ride for the photographers, earning them some unwanted attention. An article which should have been about how to turn mold in your kitchen into art appeared with the title “Is this the dirtiest¬†shared flat in Germany?” on VICE Germany. The online editor had misunderstood their photographs. “We were really surprised when we read the headline.” Not to mention the comments section. “We could imagine our work will polarise. Now we are thinking of¬†putting the best quotes on our website.”