"Art on The Scale of Life"
Book launch

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    Cesare di Giglio, courtesy The Showroom, London

On the occasion of the launch of the book “Kathrin Böhm: Art on the Scale of Life”the Museum of Modern Art hosts a discussion with Kathrin Böhm and Magdalena Siemaszko, moderated by Kuba Szreder. Together, they will explore Böhm’s practice and various projects presented in the book, highlighting similar approaches present in the Polish art ecosystem. The discussion will focus on the issues of postartistic practices, collaborative projects and art economies as well as various modes of practicing art beyond urban centers – in rural contexts, forests, meadows and swaps.


Kathrin Böhm: Art on the Scale of Life
Since the mid 1990s Böhm has expanded the terms of socially engaged ways of working to an unprecedented scale and breadth by co-producing complex spatial, visual and economic forms. These often entail the production and ongoing re-production of organisational infrastructures, manifested in collective identities such as Myvillages (since 2003) and Public Works (active 1999–2012), or via projects such as The Centre for Plausible Economies (since 2018), Company (: Movements, Deals and) Drinks (since 2014) and the Rural School of Economics (since 2010 the Eco Nomadic School).

Photographic, diagrammatic and typographic imagery run through the book, demonstrating the confident, joyful visual and spatial languages embedded in Böhm's work. The visual register of the book is therefore much more than a series of illustrations and acts as a counterpoint to and extension of the ideas elaborated in the texts. The book is designed by the innovative design studio An Endless Supply, who have been collaborating with Böhm across various projects since Trade Show at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, in 2013.

“Kathrin Böhm: Art on the Scale of Life” was edited by Gerrie van Noord, Paul O'Neill and Mick Wilson, realised through a collaboration between The Showroom, PUBLICS, Helsinki and the University of Gothenburg and co-published with Sternberg Press.

Kathrin Böhm works across interdependent realms of cultural production, including the art world. Her organising and constructing supports collective forms of (re-)producing public space, taking back the economy for people and the planet and enabling a new trans-localism that acknowledges the rural. Since the mid 1990s Kathrin has expanded the terms of socially engaged ways of working by co-producing complex spatial, visual and economic forms. These often entail the production and ongoing re-production of organisational infrastructures, manifested in collectives such as Myvillages (since 2003), Public Works (active 1999–2012), Keep it Complex-Make it Clear (2016–2020) and Company Drinks (since 2014). Kathrin teaches and publishes regularly and as a researcher contributes to the wider topics of New Economy, Usership of Art and Re-production of Public Space. In 2020 Kathrin stopped initiating new projects and engaged in a process of ‘composting’ what she had produced as an artist so far, in order to make ‘fertiliser’ for evolving long-term infrastructures such as The Centre for Plausible Economies c/o Company Drinks and Myvillages’ Rural School of Economics.

Kuba Szreder – faculty member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Faculty of Visual Culture Management). After graduating from the Jagiellonian University with a degree in sociology, Szreder worked as an independent curator of projects that brought together art, public activities, critical reflection, and social experiments. He has edited and written texts on sociology and art theory, and is the author of the book ABC Projektariatu (The ABCs of the “projectariat,” 2016). His doctoral dissertation, which he defended at the Loughborough University School of the Arts, scrutinized the political and economic aspects of independent curatorial projects.

Magdalena Siemaszko – social activist and researcher, biologist and anthropologist, combines the perspective of life science, social science and philosophy. Primarily interested in reciprocal dependencies and relations of power and care in communities and ecosystems, between humans, plants, animals, bodies and collectives. In her practice she focuses on ecological conflicts and social change and utilizes interdisciplinary tools, including action research and artistic research. Currently lives in the Podlasie region of Poland, in a beautiful meadow in the Białowieża Forest, where she conducts ethnographic research, co-runs the local association House of Nature and Culture and ecofeminist collective Wypuszczenie, as well as works with Grupa Granica. She supports and observes local cooperation networks, especially women and eco-activists as well as protest activities, and co-creates artistic projects on local heritage (Kultura Kresu Foundation) and social choreography.