May 2012
Ink on cotton, 15.5’ x 19’


False Front, False Frontier is a work that records the false front facade of West’s Boiler Shop located in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. In 1896, at the start of the Klondike Gold Rush, 30,000+ miners took up residence in Dawson City, resurrecting boomtown buildings using limited resources. Years later, many miners left Dawson City poorer than they arrived—defeated by the harsh and remote environment.  Presently, buildings in Dawson City are in distinct state of aging—manipulated by time and the shifting layers of permafrost beneath the soil.

Created using the process of frottage, cotton was draped across the facade of the building. Ink and brayers were then used to handprint and record the textures underneath, including the well-worn lumber and a large circular saw blade. This monoprint creates an indexical and portable facsimile of the original structure and documents a building in a slow but inevitable process of decay.

Special thanks to Parks Canada and the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture.