Thursday, February 2, 2023

Dean Baldwin Lew | Mixed Drinks

Dean Baldwin Lew
Mixed Drinks
Toronto, Canada: Museum of Canadian Art, 2022
190 pp., 11.5 x 7 x 1.3 cm. softcover
Edition size unknown

'The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends Is the Highest Form of Art" claimed San Francisco artist Tom Marioni, in the title of his proto-relational-aesthetics work from 1970. I can't think of an artist who better inhabits the sentiment than Dean Baldwin Lew. He has hosted countless events that bring people together around food and drink, typically serving alcohol from behind bars that he has fashioned out of travel trunks, pianos, and - for the closing exhibition of the old MoCA Toronto space - a yacht turned on its side (see below). 

When I was at Mercer Union he produced a mini-bar for a group show I put together, by building the smallest possible functioning saloon. It could uncomfortably seat maybe four patrons at a time, because everything was scaled down to the size of hotel mini-bar bottles (see below). He would leave his card on the counter and visitors could call him anytime and he would arrive (through a hole in the wall) to serve them up a cocktail. Part-way through the exhibition we held an 'open mic night', from a stage the size of an LP jacket. Performers included a singer-songwriter, a comic, a steel drum player, and a performance artist (Ulysses Castellanos, who tried to light his dick on fire). 

Last fall Toronto's Museum of Contemporary Art hosted an exhibition by Thomas Demand called House of Cards. Alongside Demand's primarily photographic work, the exhibition featured guest artists Martin Boyce, Kelly Jazvac, Caruso St John and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Tiravanija became the poster boy for 'relational' work but his practice always left me a little cold, particularly when Toronto had the Instant Coffee Trailers and Dean Baldwin's bars. 

MoCA wisely invited Baldwin Lew as a guest to the guest artists, particularly Tiravanija's karaoke bar. His contribution is a cocktail recipe book. Thomas Demand, Martin Boyce, Kelly Jazvac and Rirkrit Tiravanija all contributed drinks. As did fifty other artists and friends of Baldwin Lew: Abbas Akhavan, Aman Sandhu, Bridget Moser, Callum Schuster, David Liss, Debashis Sinha, Diane Borsato, Eleanor King, FASTWURMS, Guillaume Adjutor Provost, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Jeon-Heon Bae 배종헌, Jon Sasaki, Joni Cheung, Joseph Tisiga, Karen Kraven, Katie Bethune-Leaman, Kristan Horton, Lili Huston-Herterich, Maria Simmons, Mégane Voghell, Michel de Broin, Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Oliver Husain, Peaches, Popsy Johnstone, Radames “Juni” Figueroa, Ryan Gander and Simon Turnbull, Scott Rogers, Stephanie Comilang, Ulysses Castellanos, Vanessa Maltese, Vera Frenkel and many others. 

Here are some sample recipes: 

Bridget Moser
High Nuun Margarita (an active lifestyle cocktail)

2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 Nuun Sport hydrating electrolyte tablet in Fresh Lime flavour (*if a caffeine-free option is preferred, sub Lemon Lime flavour)
salt for glass (optional)
ice cubes
lime wedge (optional)
1. Salt the glass (optional). Rub lime wedge around the rim of glass and dip rim in salt. If you are using a Nalgene water bottle, Hydro Flask, Hydrapak Softflask, etc., you may prefer to skip this step.
2. Dissolve Nuun hydrating electrolyte tablet in 4 to 6 oz of cold water in a cocktail shaker. Wait a few minutes. 
3. Once dissolved, add tequila, Cointreau, and ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds or desired workout period. Strain into prepared cocktail glass or preferred hydration vessel. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired or possible.
Best consumed mid-day, around 12:00 pm.
Bridget Moser is a video and performance artist who lives and works in Toronto. She is also a runner training for a half marathon.

Golden Shower

1 barril de 20L de cerveja artesanal (sugerimos lager, blond ou pilsen)
1 vaso sanitário
1 ducha higiênica
1 bobina de alumínio
1 cilindro de gás CO2
peças de conexão
muito gelo
um bando de pessoas

Pegue um vaso sanitário e se livre da caixa acoplada. Pegue o barril de 20L de cerveja e coloque em seu lugar. Ponha a bobina de alumínio dentro do vaso, conecte uma das extremidades ao barril e a outra à ducha higiênica. Ajuste a pressão de CO2, certificando-se de que a cerveja esteja fluindo, quando servida pela duchinha. Cubra a serpentina dentro do vaso sanitário com gelo e chama os amigos para abrirem suas bocas e tomarem um refrescante Golden Shower!!

Diane Borsato
Hot milky tea

Assam (strong, black) tea, boiling hot water, milk
First take a long walk up a steep trail.
Swim in cold water.
Walk home in the rain, cold and sore.
Swim again (you are already soaking wet, after all).
Take off your wet clothes, wrap yourself in a warm sweater, towel or bathrobe
and prepare tea as follows:
Add 1 heaping tbsp. of tea leaves into a filter, set in a large mug.
Heat water in a kettle to boiling. Just as soon as the water boils, turn off the heat
and pour the very hot water through the tea into the cup.
Cover with a saucer, and steep for 3 to 3 ½ minutes. Use a timer to be precise.
Uncover, remove filter, and add milk to the tea.
Enjoy the hot milky tea, gratefully.

Caroline Monnet
Ti Jacques

1 dose de sirop d’érable
5 dose de rhum Agricole
Quartiers de lime
Menthe fraiche
Dans un petit verre, verser 1 dose de sirop d’érable.
Écrasez dans le verre un quartier de lime pour faire sortir le jus.
À l’aide d’un bâton en bois écraser la lime au fond du verre avec la menthe.
Ajouter le rhum. Assurez-vous d’utiliser un rhum de qualité, de préférence des Antilles.
Mélanger. On peut ajouter des glaçons, mais mon parrain Jacques, le boit sans, comme tous les marins bretons.

I regret that I was too busy to participate, but I ended up in the book anyway - mocked for multiples, no less: 

Jon Sasaki
Dave's Swamp Water

A little splash stolen from every bottle in Dave Dyment's liquor cabinet, replaced with an equivalent amount of water.

Prepare two mason jars ahead of time, one containing distilled water and the other empty. Arrive at Dave's house and find a way to get invited inside. Once inside, distract him by asking about a book or a multiple or a rare record or some such thing; when he leaves the room to retrieve it, start filling your empty mason jar. The process is complete when you have roughly 4 oz of mixed liquor, or when Dave is about to return to the room.

Baldwin's own cocktail involves taking a pineapple on a camping trip, and reminds me of my earliest memory of him. We were at the party for Rebecca Belmore, hosted by the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, almost twenty years ago. There was an open bar and a long table of food. Baldwin began repurposing pineapples as tumblers and serving drinks from them, perhaps surreptitiously, after the bar was closed (my memories are hazy).  

Mixed Drinks was made possible with support from Paul Bain and Aaron Kirsch. It is available from Art Metropole, for $15.00 CDN, here. The drink ticket bookmarks and handwritten drink coasters were given out at the launch party in the fall, which I'll consider as part of the (free) deluxe edition. 

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