A Carp in the Tub is a photographic series created by a collaboration between photographer Louise Hagger, prop stylist JoJo Li and food stylist Victoria Granof.
The series consists of six photographs with corresponding recipes and a “not funny-but funny essay” written by Granof. Together, the images, text and food instructions serve to tell the story of Granof’s winter-long journey to adopt her infant son in Ukraine.
Each image tells a story beyond the immediate: the Salo (pork fat) image hints at Granof’s arrival in Ukraine, with nothing but a bottle of vodka and half a loaf of black bread. “That time we ate the pork fat – Salo – sliced thinly, accompanied by raw garlic, black bread and ice-cold vodka,” she writes.
One of the most charming vignettes relates to the little chihuahua. “Occasionally Sergei would ask me to translate rap songs by 50 Cent (which he pronounced “Fitty”) and a tomato jar would explode,” Granof writes. “The freakish chihuahua barked incessantly.”
As for the carp that lends the series its name? Granof writes: “If you want to take a bath, do it today; I’m bringing the carp tomorrow and it lives in the tub till Easter,’ said Natalia helpfully. WAIT. Easter is three months away.”