The Placebo Apothecary

“It is, because I say so”

The Placebo Apothecary Workshop is an experimental attempt to give form and taste to a feeling or concern. Specifically we are interested in addressing how the expression of feelings into taste and smell can evoke notions of magic and power. Through a process of  conversation and consultation we will determine which feeling or concern or wish each client wants to address. Then we will start working on the tastes, smells, textures and colours for the potion or antidote. Spices, minerals and food will be mixed and ground, and eventually combined with mixing agents to aid the formation of a pill. A mixture of syrup, powdered gum arabic and honey can be used as mixing agents. Substances which are very soft are formed into the pilular mass by incorporation with dry powders, such as wheat flour, starch or crumbs of bread. Powders must be mixed with syrup, molasses, honey or glycerin. Once the pilular mass is created, the pill receive a spherical form by being rolled between the fingers. Each participant will leave with a pill that serve as potion or antidote for his or hers original concern, and along the way we will have had a series of conversations about medicine and magic.

Duration: 1 – 2 hours [negotiable]

Age range:  5 – 12 years old

Materials: various spices and food stuff such as bread, gum arabic, honey, flour and natural colorants such as cocoa, lavender, lemon, carotin and saffron.

Tools: Mortars, sieves, measuring cups and scales

• Selected for ISEA 2011

Currently in development…