In 1959 during the cold war, the then American Vice - President, Nixon hosted Soviet president Khrushchev at the American pavilion during a trade fair in Moscow. The two had a spontaneous but public debate whilst looking at a mock up of typical American Kitchen of the time. The pretend kitchen used the latest gadgets and promoted advances in American domestic technology. The verbal confrontation became known as the kitchen debate.
Nixon’s stance was that the American capitalist system had produced these electrical appliances that in turn offered choice and an improved quality of life. Khrushchev thought that much of what was produced in the consumer society were unnecessary trivial luxuries or “trinkets and baubles” that didn’t really give people what they needed only what they thought they needed. Nixon is believed to have won the argument and the U.S.A. and the capitalist system ultimately won the cold war.
I originally found this fridge freezer dumped in my friend’s front garden. He didn’t know I had taken it initially and was very concerned when he found it missing. It was a small garden and I thought I was doing him a favour by taking it away but apparently he kept it there on purpose. He reasoned that with a fridge freezer in his front garden people would assume he didn’t have any money and so it would deter burglars, debt collectors and bailiffs. When I heard that he was missing his fridge freezer and contacted him to apologise he told me...
The debate continued in front of a very early colour video camera. (16mins.05secs)
My friend’s great ‘claim to fame’ was his connection with the Berlin wall. An entrepreneur and free market capitalist, he wasn't just one of the first people there when it came down but was the first person in the UK to profit from it by having pieces of Berlin wall packaged and on sale in England within days of the event.
“...the wall came down on the Monday, I think, by Thursday night I had driven my Ford Granada across Europe and was in Berlin. I drove down a back street that ended at the wall and repeatedly reversed the car into the concrete at the base breaking off as much as I could with my tow bar. I shovelled it into the boot and brought it straight back here to Colchester, designed the packaging and had it on sale the following week.”
He still had wall left for sale years later but dealt mainly on Ebay.
'Cold War Monument' has been exhibited in several exhibitions including Ferens gallery 'The Juddykes') and 'Reisbureau Mareado' but it wasn't in the retrospective at the show '&Model' becasue it was being used on stage with 'All Roads Lead to Rome'.