Andffenbach ⋅ As you approach the delicately lit town hall pavilion, a pleasant aroma can be felt in the draft square. A modestly designed poster on the back of the austere town hall building refers to the “SOUPS” project, which brings to life the pavilion that has been empty for more than six months on fifteen evenings. Artist collective YRD.Works cooks soup there on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, together with amateur guest chefs from various scenes, cultures and age groups, mostly from Offenbach, to distribute free to pavilion visitors around 6pm.
“Good evening, delicious food, good time”: this is how Ruben Fischer describes a goal he put together with David Bausch and Yassin Baudulf for the project, which was financed from a municipality and a Hessian urban development fund. He also wishes that “a sense of unity arises between participants and visitors”. What initially sounds a bit unconventional is the program for YRD.Works – an artist collective’s delight in implementing bold ideas and creating informal meeting spaces, characteristic of many of its projects, with a culinary touch. A few years ago, Bausch, Baudalfa and Fischer converted their harbor district “Cressmann-Halle” into a temporary pizza bakery with delivery service, in 2021 they baked sourdough bread in a gallery in Frankfurt and in the middle of the first corona lockdown. They set up their own tin factory.
For “SOUPS” they gave the town hall pavilion, previously used as a “police shop”, the look of a minimalist club. The opaque vertical blinds have disappeared, the walls and floors are now painted black, and a bench landscape frames the interior as a black frame, which visually opens to the city. In the middle, the visitor encounters a neon-cool illuminated kitchen made up of several mobile modules, which are moved aside in the evening after making soup. Its literal focal point is the cooking area where a 50 liter soup pot is highlighted by a spotlight.
For a moment, the audience feels transported to a theatrical production where the boundaries between stage and auditorium are blurred. Around the soup pot, which is undoubtedly the center of attention, there are cooking operations that look almost perfectly choreographed. Marie Céline Grosz reported that “a creation of my own” appeared on this opening evening. Based on an intercultural university project in the Offenbach urban area, the HfG student founded the group “UND KÜCHE” with four fellow students. For the “SOUPS” premiere, the students, who rely only on vegan, seasonal and regional ingredients as well as a few international ingredients, created a salsify and cauliflower cream soup with truffle oil and a portion of roasted cauliflower and deep-fried sage. .