The Salt, the Milk, the Donkey, the Honey, the Folk Singers is an exhibition of pictures and notes about a slow performance. The project forms part of a series of work about trade economy, food production, and advanced industrialism that Bill Burns has been working on for several years.
Accompanying this exhibition, an artist talk will take place on April 12, and a live performance entitled The Salt, the Donkey, the Goats, the Milk, the Honey will take place on July 2, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM with the support of the Regina Farmers Market. The performance includes a procession of musicians, goats, farmers, beekeepers and a donkey. The musicians play songs about milk, honey, donkeys, container ships and campfires. At the end of the day, Bill will mix the milk and honey and salt together. He calls this “The Mixing of Milk and Honey and Salt.”
Bill began his long-duration performance, otherwise called The Great Donkey Walk or The Great Trade at Amden, Switzerland, in September 2018. With the help of two donkeys, he carried salt from the local salt mine up some gentle slopes in the Swiss Alps. On the way up the mountain, he traded some salt for apples at the orchard, then he traded apples for honey at the beekeeper’s house. At the top of the mountain, he served apples drizzled with honey and a pinch of salt.
Bill Burns’ work about advanced industrialism, donkeys, goat’s milk, salt, safety gear, and honey bees has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Mendes Wood Gallery, Sao Paulo; 303 Gallery, New York; the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.He has published artists’ books with publishers in Canada, Germany, USA, UK, Austria, and Denmark. His most recent titles include A Book About the Power 100, published by Verlag Mark Pezinger, Vienna (2018) and Hans Ulrich Obrist Hear Us, published by YYZ BOOKS and Black Dog Publishing, London, UK (2016). His artists’ editions are included in collections at Tate Britain, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Getty Center, Los Angeles. Mr Burns is also Artistic Director of the Dogs and Boats and Airplanes Experimental Children’s Choir. The choir has produced live performances and audio works at festivals in Australia, Argentina, the UK and Canada.