The Showroom

Art on a Scale of Change

Tuesday 12 October 2021
Online, free
Book here

With contributions from; Centre for Plausible Economies, The Showroom, ruangrupa and The White Pube


Join us on Tuesday 12 October for this online peer-to-peer discussion that combines the critical with the practical; focused on tangible, emancipatory possibilities for potential futures grounded in interdependence, equity and sustainability.

This event forms part of COMPOST: For Future Use at The Showroom, running from 15 September–16 October 2021 and open from Wednesday–Saturday, 12-5pm. You can book your visit via Eventbrite here.

COMPOST is a unique collaborative exhibition that explores twenty years of artist Kathrin Böhm's practice. For six weeks throughout June and July 2021, a cumulation of objects and methodologies filled the gallery space at The Showroom, opening up an invitation to contribute to a process of fertiliser-making: to sieve through, to assess, to archive, and to reformulate Böhm’s practice by making use of her methods of production, working one-to-one, collaboratively and in public.

Kathrin has been working on-site at The Showroom daily throughout COMPOST; and in a synthesis of spatial, visual, social and economic processes, the collective act of composting has been organised around principles of usership, accessibility, and enacting modes of economic and cooperative sustainability; guided by an urgent sense of discontinuing ‘business as usual’.

A principle of transparency has therefore been fundamental to the economic, social and material process of planning COMPOST and its realisation in public at The Showroom. The open format of an exhibition-in-use has enabled this collation of a body of work and its past contexts, to sieve through whilst actively reflecting, ‘turning the heap’, and in this way to produce fertiliser for the future: for Böhm, for The Showroom as a team, and for everyone who becomes collaboratively involved.

Reciprocally COMPOST constitutes a shared process of redefining institution-building for The Showroom; taking this approach to artistic production, exhibition-making and new models of sustainability as a method of enquiry. If under the one-to-one circumstances offered by COMPOST everyone becomes a ‘user’, what kind of user-ship do these processes generate? And if each user affects the activities of piling-up, reviewing, archiving, socialising, reading or simply being in the space, how does this determine, augment or change the nature of the exhibition-in-use and the work itself over time? Is there a case for collective ownership? What sorts of publicness does COMPOST establish?

The decision to ‘make a pile’ is conceived in parallel to its dissolution, which is taking place throughout Phase Two of COMPOST. What does dissolution mean in this context and under which circumstances will it take place? Which new conditions will emerge from these processes? What are the possibilities for The Showroom, as an institution, to germinate new modes of sustainability?


Image: Kathrin Böhm, tape on paper, excerpts from the Icebergian Economies of Contemporary Art, by the Centre for Plausible Economies, published by Pyrammmida, installation view, The Showroom, July 2021. Photo: Dan Weill Photography


Access information: The conversation will be live, and will be organised to include breaks. Please get in touch with [email protected] if you require any further access information.