The Empire Remains Shop

4 Aug 2016 – 6 Nov 2016

Event times

Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6pm

The Empire Remains Shop

England, United Kingdom


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The Empire Remains Shop speculates on the possibility and implications of selling back the remains of the British Empire in London today.


Empire Shops were first developed in 1920s London to teach the British how to consume foodstuffs from the colonies and overseas territories. Though none of the stores ever opened, they were meant to make sultanas from Australia, oranges from Palestine, cloves from Zanzibar, and rum from Jamaica available and familiar in the British Isles.

A public installation by London-based duo Cooking SectionsThe Empire Remains Shop hosts a critical programme of discussions, performances, dinners, installations and screenings.

The storefront and upper floor of 91–93 Baker Street features a range of new commissions and existing works that employ food as a tool to assemble new sites and geographies, while exploring origins, destinations and exchanges across the present and future of our postcolonial planet. Visitors to The Empire Remains Shop can taste, buy, or take part in the ongoing programme that will change over the project’s lifespan.

The Empire Remains Shop traces the contemporary history of imperial fruit, sugar, rum, cocoa, spices, and condiments, as well as the economies and aesthetics that emerged from them. It attests the ways in which global food networks have evolved up until today. Through its wide range of contributors, The Empire Remains Shop is a platform to investigate and explore the invention of the ‘exotic’ and the ‘tropical’, shrimp sandwiches, conflict geologies, the financialisation of ecosystems, ‘unnatural’ behaviours, the ecological perception of ‘invasive’ and ‘native’ species, ‘culturally neutral’ food aid, the banana that colonised the world, retiring to former colonies, the construction of the offshore and Special Economic Zones, and much, much more.

The Empire Remains is a long-term research project that began in 2013 to explore the infrastructure and cultural imaginaries established within the British Empire to promote gastronomic and agricultural exchange between home and overseas at the beginning of the 20th century. It takes as a starting the Empire Marketing Board — a British governmental agency that promoted colonial trade in the 1920–30s through fine art, film and graphic propaganda.


Cooking Sections

Exhibiting artists

Jana Scholze

Richie Maitland

Forager Collective

Stella Bottai

Raphael Grisey

Ros Gray

Shahmen Suku

Elisabetta Brighi

Nitasha Kaul

Natasha Ginwala

Blue Curry

The Otolith Group


Asunción Molinos Gordo

Groundation Grenada

Uriel Orlow

Filipa César

Cooking Sections

Jesse Connuck

Anjalika Sagar

Bouba Toure

Shela Sheikh

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen

Nicole Wolf

Laleh Khalili

Annalee Davis

Joni Taylor

Ayesha Hameed


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