Common Culture New Order. Flat Gallery. New York.
Ana Honigman.Review of the FLAT show, in the NY Arts Magazine May 01, 2001.

Nations with histories of colonization/cultural imperialism, the swallowing up other cultures’ identities, have a tendency to fancy themselves cross-national cultural experts once they can "speak fluent menu" in a couple of different tongues. Food symbolizes a culture, it is the universal axis for most social interchanges from celebrations to business lunches.
Food signifies hospitality and introduces others to our most intimate, immediate and accessible familial ties. On a personal level, "comfort foods" is like cultural mother’s milk, it is the atavistic connection with our heritage visa-vi our digestive tracts. But, food really is just a fleeting introduction and for the self-appointed First World sophisticate, the cultural bond is of the "out of bowls/ out of mind" variety. But what happens when two cultures, one dominating, the other exploited, convergence within a cuisine, so that the food of the "colonized other" becomes part of the colonizer’s mass culture?
New Order by Common Culture at Flat uses sharp, keen, ironic wit and lots of academic argot to examine the ramifications of these gastronomical cultural mergers. David Campbell, Mark Durden and Paul Rooney, who form Common Culture, are British and questions Britishness are paramount to their focus. To American viewers fish and chips are exotic than Indian food, making the layers of cultural exchange hard to map out, but easy to relate to since in the States every nations’ food can be found practically everywhere. Chinese food as we Americans know it is American food, made in America and tailored to the America pallet, but with the flavor of the exotic.
Hardly a mere lesson in anthropology, art history and contemporary art critique are equally present in New Order. At Flat, menus from greasy take-outs are illuminated like Donald Judd light sculptures. They therefore take on the clean look of high art, even while advertising the type of food that only really looks good after far far too much beers.A video shown at Flat has a scene where the artists play with their food.They mold a nasty looking set of leftovers into clever renditions of works by Sarah Lucas and other artsy favorites, seeming like a road flick made by a pack of super cool/ super intellectual art school boys. Which are just the types to step back and examine what others simply digest.