Why we left the village and came back / Shrewsbury & Shropshire
year 2006 & 2007
location BRITAIN, Shrewsbury & Shropshire
region West
host Shrewsbury Museum and Gallery & mediamaker (Adrian Plant)
about the travel ‘Why we left the village and came back’ was an exhibition and events programme that looked at the rural environment as a space for contemporary art practice. The two months programme explored the rural environment as a place for art production, a new socio-cultural place and a space for critical reflection. The project was devised by the artist collective myvillages.org on invitation by Shrewsbury Museum and Gallery, with the aim to explore curatorial strategies for the rural space.
Thursday 23rd November 06, 7.00 pm Old Market Hall
The artists Kathrin Böhm and Wapke Feenstra from myvillages.org introduced their organisation and Bibliobox. Together with Adrian Plant they discussed the idea behind ‘Why we left the village and came back’ and its intentions for Shrewsbury. A compilation of artist projects and films from the Bibliobox were shown and tasters from Kathrin’s and Wapke’s home villages were offered.
17 Nov 06 – 20 Jan 07, Shrewsbury Museum, Belmont Arts Centre, Music Hall Gallery and Old Market Hall
The exhibition and film programme was set across the four Mediamaker sites, and showed individual projects within their rural setting, e.g. Antje Schiffers’s at the Music Hall Gallery describes her exchange based project called Landleben. Schiffers is asking farmers to make a video about themselves that talks about being a farmer today, and in return she produces an oil painting of their farm.
17 Nov 06 – 20 Jan 07, venues across Shrewsbury and Shropshire
Core of the events programme was Bibliobox (BBBox), a travelling archive set up by myvillages.org. BBBox started in October 2005 with its accompanying website launched in June 2006. BBBox is a purpose built container with documentation and information about contextual art projects in the rural environment. BBBox travels to rural places as an information tool and communicator for existing participatory and contextual art projects, and as a catalyst for discussion about contemporary cultural production in the rural environment. The box contains a wide range of films, audio-pieces and printed material, currently containing 56 art projects from 10 different countries. BBBox travels the art periphery, collecting experience and knowledge that is specific to the rural environment and regards its audiences as potential project partners. During its stay in Shrewsbury the BBBox travelled to a number of public and semipublic spaces, such as local pubs, other cultural organisations and private studios.
Public reception, Tuesday 16 Jan 07, Shrewsbury Museum, 6.00 – 8.00 pm
Symposium, Wednesday 17 Jan 07, Old Market Hall und Music Hall, for registered guests only
The symposium was launched with a reception on the night before, showcasing documentation from the ‘Why we left the village and came back’ two months programme in and around Shrewsbury. The one day Symposium opened the discussion to other art practitioners, curators and administrators in the region. The day started by looking at current culture led regeneration initiatives for the rural environment, and a critical examination of art’s possible role and relevance within such programmes. The workshop based afternoon focussed on case studies and explored different issues that were relevant to the curation and production of art in a rural environment.
about the host mediamaker, Shropshire’s innovative media arts partnership, has invited the artist collective myvillages.org to devise this programme as the first stage of a major commission for Shrewsbury and Shropshire. Over two months, the project explored the countryside as a place for art production, a socio-cultural space and a space for critical reflection.
contact Adrian Plant, 01743 361196, adrian.plant@shrewsbury.gov.uk.