Sydney based artist collective Bababa International have recently been hosting Saturday morning breakfasts in their studio based at First Draft. Each week they set a different menu and provide a free breakfast to all who attend. It is an open invitation event held during their residency at the gallery. We attended two of their breakfasts, one morning they served us pancakes and smoothies and another morning scrambled eggs on toast with tea. All the ingredients are bought fresh that morning from a local market. This event provides the opportunity to transform their studio into a venue which welcomes people and encourages dialogue and social exchange.
Bababa International make a reference to the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde: ‘The market economy is deliberately impersonal, but the whole purpose of the 'gift economy' is to establish and strengthen the relationships between us, to connect us one to the other’.
In the main gallery space Bababa International installed a new work called Soap City. The group had arranged the space to accommodate a factory-style set-up to illustrate a step-by-step guide of how to create soap. Each stage presented in the installation is functional. The process of making soap is illustrated by colourful diagrams which are painted directly onto the gallery walls. The mould in which the soap is set contains a relief of a map which leads you to an outdoor location. We are taken on a group excursion, a short walk from the gallery to find a shower which the artists have installed on the rooftop of a nearby building. Here, you are invited to use the soap and have a shower.