When journalist George Greenwood tweeted a photo of a huge pile of carrots that seemed to be dumped at a London university, he asked the Twitterverse: “Does anyone know why a significant volume of carrots has just been dumped on Goldsmiths university campus?” So why was this happening? Turns out, it was pretty big statement.
Of course, his Tweet’s inquiry was met with a lot of expected, less-than-serious responses. Some replied that maybe there were “a lot of snowmen” being made, with another suggest making some carrot soups. Another said that someone must have “leaned too heavily against the keyboard” while online grocery shopping. Even the Looney Tunes Twitter account chimed in, saying that they had an idea of how might be involved (what’s up, doc?).
The university in question, Goldsmiths University of London issues a tweet confirming that this was not a 58,000 pound ordering error, but actually an art installation that was done by an MFA student. The university explained: “It is an installation called ‘Grounding’ by the artist Rafael Pérez Evans. Rafael has arranged for the carrots to be removed at the end of the exhibition and donated to farm animals.”
The artist explained further on his website, saying his piece is “a site-specific intervention exploring some of the tensions in visibility between the rural and the city.” He also made sure to mention that all of these carrots were going to be thrown out by retailers had he not collected them.
Pérez Evans said that he was inspired by similar “dumping” protests that took place in Spain and France. Angry French protestors dumped 8000 pounds of carrots outside the Parisian headquarters of the Socialist party in order to protest a change to cigarette packages.
A fellow Goldsmiths student spoke out against the installation, saying that although it did bring up food waste, it still did not bring up the social issues that face fellow residents of the London borough.
20 year old history student at the university said: “Even though the carrots are being donated to farm animals at the end of the piece, it’s still slightly problematic given the poverty, food shortages and homelessness in Lewisham.”
Meanwhile, other university students do what university students do best, they saw the opportunity and took some free carrots.