Azerbaijani Burger | 2015 | Installation | Various dimension
Restaurant feasts are an important part of life in the Caucasus, and they are not just about food, even if food is the only cultural element that all ethnic groups in the region have in common.

Caucasian restaurants can be found anywhere across the post-Soviet space: these are the places where men meet “to talk business.” Although consumption of food is not ritualized as it used to be, some traditions persist, and new ones — which anthropologists have yet to describe — appear. One new tradition is the ostentatious arrival to a restaurant in an expensive car with music blasting out of the windows. Another one is “the sandwich.”

As seen in the sculpture by Azerbaijani artist Farhad Farzaliyev, a sandwich is a pyramid of objects: a wallet, a mobile phone, a pack of cigarettes, and car keys. Sandwich, burger or big mac — the name of this pyramid varies from place to place, but what remains unchanged is the ritual of putting it on the table immediately upon arrival. Arranged in this way, these objects form a chain of symbols or social markers, which are supposed to give everyone present an idea of their bearer’s subjectivity, as it is defiantly cast before them on the table.