Artists Marta Stysiak
Genre Druk
Edition Survival 21
  • 3D render digital print, 2023

Eurocrem is a sweet, two-colour sandwich spread made of cocoa, hazelnuts, milk and sugar, produced since 1972 under Italian license in what is now Serbia. It was probably the most popular product of its kind in the former Yugoslavia and is still offered today by the Serbian Swisslion-Takovo concern. The trademarked names reveal an ambition to enter Western markets, and Eurocrem has throngs of fans ready to fend off any suggestion that their favourite spread is merely an Eastern on Macedonian marble – a mass-producedsocialist confection on a stone slab alluding to the region’s classical heritage – combines geopolitics with national myths dating back centuries. Marta Stysiak’s work addresses the national identities of countries aspiring to join the European Union, evoking images that reflect the contemporary life, culture and ambitions of a given nation. Referring to the convention of culinary photography – which, while exposing regional traditions or products, nevertheless follows unifying global trends – the images of a slice covered with the spread in Stysiak’s work are generated by software from the American OpenAI company. Here, the possibility of distinguishing the photograph of an existing object from an AI-generated image is possible thanks to signs in the margins. Eurocrem lovers will immediately notice the absence of the distinctive lighter half of the spread, whose omission in the artificially produced image may suggest that AI considers its monochromatic counterpart as the model.