Design Object Oriented

Salt & Pepper Holder

Image for Salt & Pepper Holder

Photo: Samuel Grange


One in a (sub-)series of posts contributed to SEMIOVOX’s Object Oriented series by applied-semiotics colleagues and friends from around the world.

Chris Arning on INKSTONE BROOM | Hamsini Shivakumar on SOUL MOTHER SAREES | Lucia Laurent-Neva on SPONGEBOB BUS | Samuel Grange on SALT & PEPPER HOLDER | Ximena Tobi on VASALISA | Charles Leech on ORNAMENT | Brian McIntyre on BONE & FLINT NECKLACE | Gabriela Pedranti on MAFALDA DOLL | Sarah Johnson on JOAN OF ARC FIGURINE | Luca Marchetti on TEAPOT. Also see: Josh Glenn on MONKEY WHIMSEY | Malcolm Evans on QUEEN MARY FOB | Ramona Lyons on RABBIT BOX | Matthew De Abaitua on HATCHET.


This is a present. A present made by a woman to a man.

A present to thank him for something he did for her.

He got a vasectomy to cut her chemical consumption associated to contraception. A one way ticket, with no return…

After surgery she offered him this object. A salt and pepper holder.

The salt and the pepper were replaced by fluffy hairy pompoms. The innocent smiling child is now offering a symbol of castration. 

Having one’s capacity of reproduction embodied by an asexual child can be disturbing. Yet, the function of the object and its destination remain spicing-up. It embodies the pleasure of sex through salt and pepper. A thank-you but also a promise of pleasure to be continued.

This object is standing in my living room as a symbol of love between a man and a woman. But also a testimony that things can change and that women don’t have necessarily to be the one in charge of contraception. It is a sign of modernity in terms of relationships between men and women, a sign of modernity considering men’s conception of virility.

It also raises the question of kids in general. Kids in context of 7 billion human beings. Kids in a context of search for sustainability.

Here it stands as a crystal clear answer: No more kids, but keep the salt and pepper…

Tags: Talisman