The countryside as a place for and of cultural production is the starting point for artists' initiative myvillages.org. Since 2003, Kathrin Böhm (GER/UK), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (GER) have focused on the village as a source of knowledge in contemporary art. It is not entirely coincidental that all three artists grew up in small farming villages. With a variety of projects, myvillages.org aims to bring the countryside as a place of cultural production into the discussion of contemporary art. Thus, the International Village Shop, where village products are tasted, drunk and sold, has already appeared on the Lüneburger Heide and in Tate Britain. For the festival Über Lebenskunst in Berlin, they worked for a year on Vorratskammer (Larder), in which a larder was stocked with produce from farmers, breweries and producers from the immediate area. Last summer, visitors to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt were invited to consume the end result of preserved food, freshly harvested hydro lettuce, specially brewed drinks and slaughtered animals.
In TENT, myvillages.org makes its first presentation for a Dutch public. From 27 to 30 October, myvillages.org presents an exhibition in TENT and a programme of events in which they amplify on their recent projects. In the International Village Shop you can buy village produce from their European network. In Rotterdam this is supplemented with food products from local farmers. Various films and videos depict rural life and the origins of 'Village Food'.
Thursday 27.10.11, 20.00h: On Thursday evening 27 October, in An Evening With myvillages.org, the artists will be in discussion with curator Huib Haye van der Werf and philosopher Maarten Doorman. In the arts the city, rather than the countryside, is always assumed to be the place where innovation occurs. But is that a reasonable assumption to make? myvillages.org is asked why they, on the other hand, see the countryside as an important place for contemporary art. Capitals are generally regarded as the centres of new developments in art, but what influence does the countryside have?
Friday 28.10.11, 09.00-17.00h: Daytrip Rijk Zwaan
Friday revolves around the basic principles of food production in a daytrip to Rijk Zwaan, a company that specializes in vegetable seed. Rijk Zwaan is oriented towards developing high-quality vegetable varieties for commercial cultivation. The daytrip offers a unique glimpse behind the scenes at this company, which does not normally open its doors to the general public. Reservations are required for the daytrip due to the limited number of seats available.
Saturday 29.10.11, 11.00–18.00h: Farmers Medley
On Saturday there are various workshops and performances to attend during the Farmers Medley. The artists of myvillage.org will be telling international anecdotes from their field of action, among other things, and talking to the Rotterdam shepherd Martin Oosthoek about landscape management.
Sunday 30.10.11, 12.00h: During the Sunday Dorpsbrunch (village brunch), visitors are invited to bring and share their village food. Everyone is welcome, with or without village food, to pull up a chair and enjoy the food and share stories about its origins and background.
Also the new publication Images of Farming edited by myvillages.org founders Wapke Feenstra en Antje Schiffers will be availalbe at TENT.
For more information: TENT.