“So when I say ‘compost’, it’s more than a joke, though it is also a joke. It’s a refusal to be quite so serious about categories, and to let categories sit a bit lightly with the complexities of the world.”
~ Donna Haraway, interview with Sarah Franklin for Sage Journal, 2017
Three years ago I started to resist the pressure of endlessly producing more projects in the arts. Instead I wanted to make time to reflect on my practice, and decide which ideas and aims and objects and methods to keep. To stop producing and keep re-producing, in order to support long-term works and public systems for what comes next.
I started to pile up what is left. All in one place, on top of each other, layered, added with care but no particular order, piled up, allowed to sit, some might rot, become un-recognizable, continue as fertiliser, go elsewhere. Mini-architectures, tape towers, haystacks, an international village shop, a drinks company, posters, books, a pantry, trade-shows, pots with noses. This is Compost.
Coproduction, cultural democracy, collectives, diverse economies, icebergs, public space, the rural, usership, knowledge share, commons, community, infrastructures and support structures. This is Compost.
Learn to Act, Pantry, International Village Show, Company, Movements Deals and Drinks, If you can’t find it, Who is building what, Culture is a Verb, B2B, Future Gallery. This is Compost.
Compost operates on the scale of the gallery, it is one-to-one, here and now and within the publicness of the institution. Compost is making an exhibition about the work, using the methods of the work, which are: in collaboration, in public and in use.
Compost couldn’t be anywhere else than a gallery. Only an interest in art will allow art to remain of interest, and this interest can come from any direction and from everyone. Compost is just a durational pile. Its use will be somewhere else.
*The subtitle ‘Kathrin Böhm: Turning the Heap’ has been donated by artist Rosalie Schweiker.
Compost is being piled up and sieved through since mid June 2021 at The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8 8PQ until 16th October 2021, Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5pm.
All images Dan Weill Photography
This is part of ROT, a section of The Learned Pig exploring multispecies creativity through modest tales of collaboration and coexistence amidst world-ending violence and disorder. ROT is conceived and edited by Julia Cavicchi.