The Spies Came in from the Cold

  • 2014
  • Pushkin House (London)

1959. London. The Cold War is at its peak. You are a spy in training. You receive an envelope summoning you to come for a briefing at HQ. There you will be trained how to pass as a citizen – Soviet or American, you won’t know till then – how to handle your drink and give a proper toast are just as important as good morals…

The mission will take place in Moscow in the grounds of VDNKh (Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy). Americans and Soviets will be showing off their gastronomic and propaganda prowess: from slow-cooked ‘Russian Revels’ burgers and the pavilion of Betty Crocker cake mixes stand, to the Soviet pavilions with their ‘worlds best’ kolbasnye izdeliya (special farm-made sausages) and ‘proper’ Eskimo ice-cream. The exhibition will end with the customary ‘Reception for VIPs’: the shady bar with a singer with her husky voice full of innuendos. That’s where all the real secrets get uncovered.

An immersive, site-specific dining and performance event created with Katharine Fry for Hush Hush Hoopla and Russian Revels (chefs Katarina Kollegeava and Karina Baldry), with support from Pushkin House.