Eat Art in the Klondike

 July 2021 - Created at the Canyon festival, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada


Canyon City is a historical landmark for all newcomers during the Gold Rush era as an important step in the long trip to Dawson City. The first pioneers of Yukon in Canada had to bring 457kg of food items to survive 1 year in the Klondike because of the remote location. The list of suggested items was diverse and surprisingly technically advanced (evaporated vinegar, dried potatoes, dried onions, ...). Some canned goods had unique bush men designs from the time. The performance has been created site-specifically.


First, we rode our horses in historical costumes from the beginning of the trail to Canyon city. All our materials were in the horses' sacks. We set up our table and tent as visitors arrived. I pretended that I was checking if they had all the necessary items to do this historical hike with a long food list. The northern police in the years 1895-1900 used to verify each pioneer's luggage  to avoid malnutrition amongst the newcomers during the hard and long winters.

I asked the visitor to draw on food cans after our discussion. Some of these historical cans had unique branding with Yukon natural (or not) products. Funny ideas were produced by the participants: edible mosquito repellent made of goose and mosquitos sync together, beetle mash soup, or canned strawberry ice cream with spruce tip jelly. 

Many people of all ages visited us during the 2 days of the festival.

A month later, the results of these can designs were polished and reprinted on fresh cans at the Yukon Arts Center Gallery, alongside some of the performance's key props.

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