Cake of the year: 1876
Artist Clare Aimée an Iceland University of the Arts graduate hosts an event about the evolution of the Vínarterta recipe. She is inviting guests to a time-travel cake tasting in Listasafn Reykjavíkur Hafnarhúsið on July 1st, beginning at 15h00 and lasting until the cake runs out.
Culture is impermanent, certain aspects may be forgotten or evolve uniquely in new lands. Vínarterta is an archetype of that, a recipe which the Icelandic community brought with them to Canada in the late 19th century when a third of the country emigrated. The cake’s origin is in Austria, traveling through Denmark and so, making its way here. Because of the ingredients, many of which were expensive imports, it became a representation of high affluence; only the most aristocratic families could enjoy it, and only on special occasions.
Today in Gimli, Manitoba, and spread throughout Canada’s community of second and third generation Icelandic descendants, the cake is a strong symbol of cultural pride. Today in Iceland, it seems few people remember this cake, only knowing similar, simpler inspired versions. While in Canada, it became a preserved and sacred part of the Icelandic identity, in Iceland it evolved and disappeared naturally.
Seven Icelandic bakers are invited to bake a version of the recipe with the artist, following recipes throughout eras, beginning from 1795.
About the artist:
Clare Aimée (b.1992) is a Canadian conceptual artist based in Iceland. She graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the Icelandic University of the Arts in 2020, with an exchange at The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic. In her practice she often works with experience – using familiar frameworks with poetic fellowship as a goal. Her work has been shown in Chile, Czech Republic, Portugal, Iceland, Denmark, Slovakia, and Canada.