…is late 80’s Yugoslavia unchic chic! We love the proportions of the lines in the blue glyph, and the monolithic and utterly empty table, sitting on the other side of the Iron Curtain from the restaurant that may or may not, in fact, actually exist. Furthering the disorientation, we have little in the way of a sense of scale. Are the chairs two feet high? And what kind of patrons will sit in them? And finally, we should note that despite all the symbols of dining, there is no food present. That may be intentional on the part of the photographer, if not the proprietor of the restaurant.
On the other hand, whoever directed this North Korean propaganda film entitled “King Jong Il: The Great Dietetician” (the extra “et” is for extra-terrestrial? Entertainment Tonight? Endless torture?) was clearly purposeful in excluding images of food. The piece talks about how KJI provides for the peoples’ dietary needs, but only spends a few seconds in what must be the world’s least productive rice factory before switching to a shot of the Great Leader examining toilet paper, of all things. He controls what goes in (very little) and what comes out (commensurately very little).
There may not be a lot of victuals under Communism, but that will never deter the image-makers.
David Hlynsky, Small table, restaurant window, Yugoslavia, 1989 [David Hlynsky]
Kim Jong Il The Great Dietetician [YouTube/Google Video]