Following her long-time fascination with edible readymades including eggs, macaroni, cantaloupes and sausages, Friedman turns her focus to waffles rendered in paper, marble and rubber. They are presented actual size and enlarged; carved, cast and contorted. (The related, super-sized Waffle, 2008, stands seven-feet tall and appears to be melting into a pool of syrup; it is currently on view at MetroTech Center in Brooklyn in Public Art Fund’s exhibition, Trapdoor.)
Friedman’s interest in quotidian grocery items is balanced by her examination of modernism, particularly the grid as a fundamental sculptural element. She riffs on Rosalind Krauss’s essay, “The Double Negative” in which Krauss considers “the organization of matter” through systems and serial repetition; with Friedman’s wit, “the organization of batter”, appropriately titles this exhibition and implies her rethinking of modern sculpture.
Her inspiration is not only the waffle’s grid pattern, but also the method of making them, whereby waffle irons function as molds. She has been collecting the appliances from different eras, whose shapes and patterns are revealed in the variety of marble waffle sculptures. Here the grid is carved into stone, tablet-like artifacts, displayed on colored plinths made of the common kitchen material, formica. Waffle irons also served as forms to cast pigment and paper pulp, resulting in actual-size, double-sided waffle reliefs.
The hanging rubber pieces began with bits of batter cooked up, enlarged through a three-dimensional scanning and milling process, and cast in rubber using urethane foam molds. These nearly unrecognizable, flaccid topographical forms extend from Paired with the waffles are new photographs of rubber bands, a form Friedman enlarged and suspended in taut knotted pairs stretched from floor to ceiling (Art Basel Miami Beach, 2008). These images of disordered, spaghetti-like forms conjure up intestines and digestion, not only contrasting the geometric regularity of the waffles, but also asserting the body and the original function of waffles as food – Rochelle Steiner, April 2009