Real Fake Cheese
Most of us can easily picture the process of cheesemaking: grass, cow, farmer, fermentation... Even if most dairy cheeses are industrially produced today, the original narrative remains.
Vegan cheese, however, has no obvious link between origin and form. It has adopted the form language of sliced dairy cheese and its familiar appearance, offering the same, recognisable range of ways to eat it. However, it has no story, no cultural value, and no narrative of its own for us to understand and see it for anything other than “fake cheese”. It can only be defined by what it precisely is not, rendering its own origins invisible.
How can vegan cheese convey its own story and origins as a food product and become more than “fake cheese”?
Real fake cheese depicts the production of vegan cheese by drawing inspiration from the visual language of authenticity and origin as observed in marketing campaigns and food packaging, notably on formerly novel food products of the 20th century market (cacao, coffee, tea...). In doing so, the interplay of ingredients, machines, landscapes and processes that make up vegan cheese become visible in the moulded product itself.
By removing the veil of the dairy cheese narrative and visualising vegan cheese’s origins and production process, it becomes a thing in and of itself - a product of our time.