Ich bin gerne Bauer und möchte es auch gerne bleiben
Antje Schiffers / Thomas Sprenger

Exhibition Series
Alltagskultur und Gegenwartskunst im museumORTH
curated by Hilde Fuchs
2013 July 8 to November 1

After their Große Bauern-Theater (Great Farmers’ Theater) in the Viennese Secession (2007), the two artists continued their archive project with films about farming made by farmers in Rumania, Macedonia, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Their latest project includes new films made by famers from Marchfeld. The 25 films made so far were shown in 2013 as part of the exhibition series Alltagskultur und Gegenwartskunst (Everyday Culture and Contemporary Art) curated by Hilde Fuchs.

Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger based their idea on the system of bartering during the war, when painters sought out farmers to trade their work for food. For this project, however, art is traded for “everyday experiences.” The artists paint a picture according to a farmer’s wishes, and in exchange, the farmer makes a video about their daily work and life story. Antje Schiffers learned to paint specifically for this purpose, because painting still defines the common understanding of art and therefore holds value for the farmers.
Acting as field researchers and/or ethnologists, the artists draw comparisons between the precarious work done by farmers and artists. Art becomes a commodity within a bartering system where it has the same value as life experiences. While this may seem benign, the criticism of the art market – where art is often reduced to speculative surplus value on the global financial market – is still clear.
(Barbara Holub)