Ask Me Chocolates is an artwork by Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, in collaboration with a grade 6 class at “Multiple Elementary.” Ask Me Chocolates is a series of limited edition artist multiples, made with both milk and dark chocolate.
A chocolate is never just a chocolate. Chocolates carry stories, like the Easter Bunny fable, and relate to long and rich histories like the importance of cacao beans in Mayan cultures. Cacao travels vast distances, passes through many hands and changes form multiple times before it arrives at our near-by stores. Some chocolate bars hold a mystery — how do they get the caramel inside? Others transmit information about their country of origin and the farmers who harvested the beans.
As artists, researchers, and amateur chocolatiers, we have produced this collection of chocolates as miniature sculptures and story fragments. Like chocolate bars, these multiples are designed for movement and distribution.
Leading up to the making of our Ask Me Chocolates we have been: selling snowballs, using the subway as a studio, and visiting sites of chocolate production. We have learned about trade, artists’ multiples, the history of bathroom humor in art, child slaves in the cacao industry, ‘labourness’ and artists’ interventions into the world of commerce. We are thinking of this as ‘multiple learning.’