This is entry #80 in our ongoing 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.
Philosopher: Jeremy Fried, University of Oklahoma
Artwork: Soup, no artist, no date. Liquid (generally water-based), edible organic matter
Words: Is soup art? It’s certainly aesthetic, but that doesn’t necessarily make something art. Sure, Andy Warhol’s painting of a soup can counts, but when you empty the mass-produced tomato slurry of the painting’s subject into a bowl and call that art, some questions arise. But even that commodified version connects back to the peasant food whose slow simmering allows otherwise unpalatable or inedible components to become part of a symphony of flavor and balance. My mother’s matzoh ball soup connects me to my culture, my past, and now that she’s gone, to her. Soup is magic. Maybe that’s enough.