Skip to main content

Grass cooks. Food in the Work of Günter Grass

Exhibition at the Günter Grass House, 2 March to 20 September 2023

Food and its preparation have been a lifelong theme for the artist Günter Grass: he shapes it in an extremely diverse way in novels and poems, in drawings and sculptures. In his private life, Günter Grass is a passionate cook who likes to invite guests to the table frequently. And the politically committed citizen Günter Grass repeatedly speaks about world hunger in his speeches.

In Günter Grass's work, the artistic, the culinary and the political often lie close together, almost intermingle: for example, in the novel Der Butt (The Flounder), a »narrative cookbook« in which female cooks from all periods of history play the main role. In Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke (From the Diary of a Snail), the main theme is politics, but in it he dreams of opening an inn: »It would serve all the dishes that I myself cook and eat: leg of mutton with lentils, veal kidney on celery, green eel, tripe, mussels, pheasant with weinkraut, suckling pig with lima beans, fish, leek and mushroom soups, on Ash Wednesday hashed lung, and on Whit Sunday beef heart stuffed with prunes.« And Grass often invites imaginary guests from history and literature in a literary mind game, with whom he then feasts and debates in all opulence.

The focus of the exhibition is the sensual-artistic shaping of food in the work of Günter Grass and at the same time the political dimension of food and nutrition. The exhibition aims to establish an arc to the continuing socio-political relevance of the topic, also within the framework of the accompanying programme.

1 / 6