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The Levine Archive Project

2020 - ongoing

 

Focusing on a selection of photos taken by Rick Levine between1976-1985 in combination with Suzanne Wecshler’s (formerly Levine) papers I am thinking about and around the history of "natural foods" and the co-opting of the counter culture foods movement into “wellness lifestyle". I want to think about the stories that are missing and undertold about the women of the counterculture. Home cooking classes, second wave feminism, gardening, cookbooks and motherhood, are all reoccurring themes within this content. My story is rooted in Minneapolis, MN where Rick and Suzanne met (1976)  marrying three months later. At this time Suzanne, my mom, was macrobiotic, growing and selling sprouts, teaching cooking and nutrition workshops, and working at a natural foods store and Rick, my dad, had a day job and was a budding astrologer. I was born at home in November of 1977 at their first house, my placenta buried in the backyard garden. In 1981, they bough a van and sold their house. The Maroon Balloon, our house on wheels, was where my first memories were formed before we moved to southern California for me to start school. 

The early stages of this process is scanning slides and creating an organizational system. While becoming familiar with the archive I am interested in looking at the small details. What’s on the shelf, in the fridge, or on the bulletin board? All he background information that can be invaluable to decoding a time and place and easily overlooked. The resulting project will be a story that focus on Suzanne's lifetime devotion to healthy living, cooking, teaching and her role in the development of the aesthetic that we now know as “organic”.

Suzanne and Rick, 1976

Suzanne and Rick, 1976

The Levine archive project

Compost Pile, 1977

Compost Pile, 1977

The Levine archive project

The Maroon Balloon, 1984

The Maroon Balloon, 1984

Suzanne in the driver seat, the Levine archive project.

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