July 28th: In Honour of Drug Legalization

Marathon Eat Art

Inspiration

Illegal food: Drugs.

Some are legal and more dangerous. Some are illegal for various reasons.

Many countries are decriminalizing, liberalizing or legalizing some drugs these years: Uruguay, Portugal, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, ....

With these new freedoms, many questions appear:

-Are people inform on the effects and long term consequences of each substances?

-How to educate the public, even those who are no longer in high school?

-Do people know which ingredients each drugs should be normally made of?

-Where can they find out if harmful substances are added to it?

-Is it an economical advantage for public fonds or a real population benefit to legalize drugs?

Description

We decided to make a kiosk, half way between one that could be found in public market to sell fruits, and a drug prevention station with information pamphlets. A sun umbrella, two beach chairs, a small table, a billboard. I asked two friends to help me set it up in front of McGill University on Sherbrooke street, at the end McGill College Avenue, in Montréal.

I purcharse various capsulas, small bags, drug-looking edible ingredients (tapioca starch, sugar powder, sparkling sugar, isomalt, hard colorful candies, spices, apple juice), syringes and tests tubes. The aims was to cook and design delicious placeboos for these drugs and to push the boundaries of trust with the people visisting the kiosk. We changed their names for something similar. If one day the drugs were legalized and sold casually in public markets by anyone who would wat to, like one could sell fruits or socks, how could you trust the quality and trustiness of a product that can affect you so much?

The performance worked quite well. People stopped by to talk, curious. Everyone has something to say about drugs: a story, a rumor, an historical, political or technical fact, an opinion. Rare are the open conversation about this topic in public spaces, and many wanted to share their toughts. Young Explore exchange-program student group, Californian, Belgian and Australian middle aged tousrists, open-minded hippy social workers, opiniated governement worker, a grandma and her granddaughter, .... Everyone added their pinch of salt and I came back from this performance more informed, with new ideas. 

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