In autumn 2012 The Showroom invited Kathrin Böhm to develop a project within the Communal Knowledge programme, a series of collaborative projects with local and international artists to propose and activate approaches to critical engagement with The Showroom’s social and cultural surroundings.
I am a shop began a new collaboration with PIP (Pursuing Independent Paths) working over a period of five months. The work developed during this time was presented in 19 – 22 June 2013 at The Showroom.
A printed sketchbook compiling ideas and outcomes from the workshops will be launched, a new mobile dispenser will be tested on Church Street Market and an evening discussion with invited speakers will address the possibility of models of trading and shops within contemporary art practice.
‘The production and distribution of things as a social, cultural and public realm interests me in many of my projects. The ways in which things are made and traded is where my work starts. For the project with PIP I worked with a group of young adults who – as part of their training – make things and run a regular market stall. Trading can be tedious. Sitting or standing behind a stall or a counter, answering questions and remaining friendly (or not), offering things that people might or might not want. The starting point was the idea of a customised and wearable trading outfit, as a space and image and interface, from where you can trade in your own way. During the weekly workshops between November 2012 and March 2013 we played with different outfits and structures and sketched numerous 2D and 3D tradeables. The list is long, from football capes to scary sweet dispensers, white board caps to rucksack shops, mobile make-up stations and top-hat-tables.’ Kathrin Böhm
This project is commissioned as part of Communal Knowledge which is supported by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The John Lyons Charitable Trust City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Showroom Supporters Scheme.