MICHELLE LEE HO WING 李可穎
Archive of the People takes Café do Brasil as a departure point to open up online conversations within its members’ network. They think about Brazil, coffee, public space, activism, encounters and time, and from the perspective of individual memories and emotions. Sitting inside Café do Brasil, there was perhaps a feeling of suspension, with the harbour just outside the window. Everything must have seemed to flow slowly.
The elevated platform in the exhibition space allows certain things to sink to the bottom and others to emerge at the top. This is like the fine layer of milk foam on top of coffee—one needs to draw few mouthfuls of milk-flavoured air before tasting the nuances in the coffee. To find a balance within variations, Archive of the People presents a blend of coffee beans, as a metaphor for the solidarity within a group. Every member picks their own variety of coffee beans, and these are then blended in different proportions, taste-tested and offered as a unique sharing experience.
Cold drip coffee takes time. The barista with her back to the platform says, “Good things take time. You need to whittle away the mediocre before getting to the cream of the crop. Some things just can’t be sped up.” She then tells me (us), “As the ice melts, the coffee loses its strength.” The coffee itself has not changed. One should’ve expected the dilution when one ordered iced coffee. Can iced coffee be blamed because water from the melting ice got mixed in? This is always a difficult subject.
The ice maker asks, ‘ Does the flavour of the coffee become impure after adding ice?’ Does it taste worse, it’s worse. It’s not a big deal.’
That’s right, what’s important is the repair after damage. Some people say they have gone bad, yet others claim that it’s the system that’s gone bad. Perhaps this little elevated platform can act as a buffer zone to allow us to regroup with a little coffee break.
The coffee observer listens to the cracking of the ice and watches the dripping of the ice water. That’s the constant physical reaction of stuff, from fluid to solid and then fluid again, back and forth, and finally, after passing through the mouth, it becomes something else.
Real Danger Revisited
Single channel video Installation | Colour |