Myvillages (until 2013 myvillages.org) is an international artist initiative founded by Kathrin Böhm (Ger/UK), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (D) in 2003.
Our interest is the rural as a space for and of cultural production and the continuously evolving relationship between urban and rural practices, geographies and realities. The collective aims of Myvillages are informed by the contextual nature of our individual practices and the autobiographical fact that we all come from small villages.
Myvillages activities range from small scale informal presentations to long term collaborative research projects, from work in private spaces to public conferences, from exhibitions to publications and from personal questions to public debate.
Myvillages is registered as a International Stichting in the Netherlands, and current members of the board are Claudia Büttner (Curator, Munich), Nathalie Houtermans (Curator, Rotterdam) and Gavin Wade (Artist-Curator, Birmingham).
... AND ABOUT US (A STORY)
Myvillages is founded by three artists that grew up in small rural communities: the artists Kathrin Böhm (DE/UK), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (DE). We now live respectively in London, Rotterdam and Berlin. In 2003 we started to work as an artist cooperation. For years we had chatted about the farms and villages where we grew up. - Because lets face it: what is more fun? Talking about the latest visit to a club in London or that your uncle had slaughtered a pig? The participatory art practice - which we share in common - presents an utopian approach to community building. We agreed that we knew through experience a lot about small communities and the close though sometimes narrow relationship people have in villages.
For our first public event - at Antje’s home village Heiligendorf – we brought food and produce with us from the rural places we grew up. Wapke offered a special kind of clove-cheese and a taste of horsemilk. Antje offered good German bread and liver-pâté that is made from her uncle’s pigs. - The smoked Franconian sausages and the schnapps made by Kathrin’s father also made a lot of friends. We share where we come from and frame the rural as a place of cultural production bringing it into the discussion of contemporary arts.
We run several ongoing projects including a travelling archive called bibliobox and an International Village Shop. We try to connect villages and we use our network to explore new ones. A method we like to utilize – besides bringing village produce - is called Rural Background Drawing. What does a farm look like in your memory? What was the last thing you did in the countryside? What would you call rural? We must say, we learn a lot going in and out of the rural and switching between art and non-art contexts.
A CV to download: CV - myvillages.doc