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Copy from Publication FOOD by Fellbach Small Sculpure Triennale 2016


Central to Valentin Beck's and Adrian Rast’'s artistic work are the ecological, economic and social aspects of foodstuffs as well as their production, distribution and consumption. The artists, who adopt a critical position vis-à-vis present-day consumerism, address subjects such as awareness in the handling of natural resources and sustainability of energy and commodity cycles. The installation EIN'MACH'ENDE – so wollen wir leben is a system of shelves constructed from recycled europallets stacked with preserving jars filled with foods. Primarily fruit and vegetables were used here, all of them supermarket products that prematurely exited the production-distribution- consumption cycle because they were bruised, or past their sell-by dates, or were excess goods, and hence considered worthless. Removing and collect- ing these foods from supermarket garbage skips, the artists process them according to traditional preserving techniques to produce chutneys, jams, jellies or dried fruits. So-called skip-diving has become a kind of political activism in recent years based on anti-consumerism and boycott of the throwaway society.


The artists present the foods they have preserved stacked in rows on simple shelves specially constructed for the purpose. The euro-pallets allude to the mass-production context and to goods circulation in a globalized network. But their plain construction also alludes to the DIY movement and the growing trend of creatively recycling materials left over from consumer cycles. The aesthetic of the installation shifts between the serialism of full supermarket shelves and warehouses, on the one hand, and that of a scientific archive. The artists also developed an inventory that meticulously documents the ingredients and recipes used. Exhibition visitors are called on to take the products home in return for a freely negotiated exchange or a dinner invitation. The artists thus prompt negotiation around the value of food and make the subject of food wastage the basis for an exchange. Over fifteen million tons of food are thrown away annually in Germany according to statistics. In contrast, a billion people daily suffer from hunger worldwide. Theoretically, given currently available means, enough food could be produced to feed one-and-a-half times the world population. In the light of these disparate, alarming figures, Valentin Beck's and Adrian Rast's work prompts reflection on one’s own behaviour as a consumer and brings moral values to bear on the sometimes unethical value-creation processes of consumer society.



Fellbach Small Sculpure Triennale 2016






Audience Award

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