For four days during the Gallery Weekend Berlin 2016 (April 28 – May 1, 2016), when the art world comes to the German capital, a group of contemporary artists of different stylistic backgrounds work in Berlin-Kreuzberg’s free art space SCHAU FENSTER under “sweat shop conditions”. During their six hour shift, all the artist is given is a chair, a tripod, and paint. Each one of them inhabiting the 5 x 4 meter space between the four columns that structure the space.
The basic idea of SWEAT SHOP is to extrapolate the mutuality of art and money, while commenting on the means of capitalist production in a globalized world, and reflecting on the artistic traditions in the means and ends of production in the eastern and the western philosophy.
SWEAT SHOP is a group project initiated by Jan Kage and realized with the help and advice of the artist Philip Grözinger and Samsarah Lilja.
This is how it works: Jan Kage, curator of SWEAT SHOP and director of SCHAU FENSTER, will attend business hours in his business suit selling different art materials in variable formats. The customers who purchase the materials take it to their favored artist. The customer hands the materials to the artist of choice and gives him or her a photograph, a picture, or an idea that he or she wants the artist to paint.
This whole act happens on a dual public level: It is streamed online. And since SCHAU FENSTER is what it is, a display window with a twenty-five meter long, a four and a half meter deep room behind it, the audience can stand outside watching the artists work.
If one artist sells more works than another, the price of this work increases. A “Dow Jones curve” will illustrate the artist’s current popularity and this will reflect on the price of his or her work. The artists will be in a competition.
In this video, we take a look at what’s happening at the Sweat Shop on April 28, 2016. The artists on that day: Katharina Arndt, Emess, Fritz Bornstück, and Jan Muche.
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