Turkey-shaped Jell-O® Mold: 2006 Competition

Well, after last year's frighteningly realistic Jell-O® turkey, I conducted a Turkey Mold contest for this year's Thanksgiving party at the office. And here, now, the highly unheimlich results:

Ice Turkey: Revolutionary in its simplicity, Sacha's ice turkey dextrously challenges our notions of holiday cultural iconicity while simultaneously interrogating avian corporeality. A knowing nod to Serrano's Piss Christ, her turkey, suspended in apple juice, acknowledges its debt to America's culture wars while fearlessly breaking new ground.

Noodle Kugel Turkey: Lia's entry evincines the abject — referencing the turkey in its raw, unplucked state, the noodle kugel is also a palate-pleasing treat. Extra points for culinary syncretism.

Kaluah Jell-O® Turkey: My own iteration of last year's seminal Jell-O® turkey, this one substitutes Kaluah for water, using a cranberry gelatin base. Unexpectedly visceral (I am forced to acknowledge the anxiety of influence and admit that I did see the Matthew Barney exhibit at SF MoMA.) A sleeper success.

Chopped Liver Turkey: Lianne and Karis's stark and startling chopped liver turkey executes an interrogation reminiscent of Greenbergian formalism — what qualitites are intrinsic and indispensible to turkey qua turkey, to the quiddity of the bird? — they ask us. Simultaneously, the sculptural form references the geometry of minimalism and the somatic impulse of gender and identity-based work. A dazzling recapituation of late twentieth century artistic movements.

Brussels Sprouts Turkey: Yale's submission achieves an unexpected balance of content and form, with the morphology of the sprout leaves hinting at a metonymic association with turkey feathers. Salty and satisfying.

Rice Krispy Treat Turkey: Nan's rice krispy treat turkey executes a powerful imbrication of the natural and the artificial, one that makes us question our most basic assumptions about commercial capitalism. The crab apples and fecund blackberries hint towards a lost eden while the centerpiece promises a synthetic (yet sweet and gummy?) future. A shameless crowd-pleaser.

Potato/Yam Turkey: In this minimalist coup-de-grâce, David's potato/yam creation is a bold, fearless statement. Unafraid to appear without dressing of any kind, much like David himself — filling and scrumptious.

Cheesecake Turkey: Almost Zen-like in its simplicity, Satya and Frank's creation speaks to the fundamental nature of plasticity. Sweet and delicious.

Turkey Loaf Turkey: Nan's pièce de résistance, the turkey loaf turkey reconstitutes form from the ground up, climaxing in an ecstatic moment of ironic delight. A stunning technical and conceptual achievement.


Thanks to all who contributed their creations, and stay tuned for next year. And thanks to Xeni for the BoingBoing post — we've reached the long tail of turkey-shaped-meal lovers, for sure.

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