The ArtFARM is a flagship project that among other things provides visual and performing arts programmes, local food and food production, and nature projects for children. ArtFARM is an educational & creative platform in real space that takes place at Gråsten Agricultural College - it has academic facilities and international networks, as well as a large working farm area with livestock, for hands-on learning. The goal of the ArtFARM is to support development of an active and vibrant creative culture, with feet in both the town and the country. On location existing organizations and projects work wherever possible to create savvy, vibrant, sustainable artistic communities.
FarmART or ArtFARM?
The location of the ArtFARM is symbolic. It envisages the constant dialogue between countryside and metropolis, something we don’t want to see separated. Gråsten Agricultural College has several large barns that have ‘plug and play’ construction plans in place for renovation - a large part of these will be for multipurpose exhibition and performance spaces. The school can host 130 guests in rooms with bathroom facilities and internet. Up to 30 rooms are used for artists in residencies.
The interdisciplinary nature of this flagship project is already notable in the structure of the building. The ground floor of one building wing is currently used as a Nature School, where children from schools in Sønderborg municipalities are taught nature-related subjects. This wing’s loft covers an area of no less than 1300m2 on the first floor, but is currently not in use. Plans are in place for this large attic wing to be reconstructed into working studios for artists of all kinds. There is also a space for a concert/lecture/exhibition/ meeting room. This space, along with the studios, will be known as ‘The Loft’.
The second wing of the building contains a very old big barn with eccentric construction. This will be used for big concerts, conferences, exhibitions, theatre. It is known as ‘The Barn’.
The world-regarded General Director of Echigo-Tsumari Artfield Triennale in Japan, Fram Kitagawa, is mentoring the development of the ArtFARM with us.
We will have a lively and active exchange program of artists and projects between ArtFARM and the Tsumari Artfield, as an ongoing program of activity. In 2012 two Danish artists will be exhibiting at the artfield in Japan as a first step. We also create a network with the artist in residency scheme Bundanon Trust Australia. We believe there are similarities between the environments in which we are working, and that we share principles around cultural intervention and a philosophy of artist-led change.
Artists in residency
Curators from Brazil, China, India and Japan select artists in residence for the ArtFARM. Several Danes who want to be a part of it are a group of artists who have solid links to a gallery in Wales, where they were living and exhibiting, which has a similar theme to the Countryside Metropolis - combining urban sensibilities with the best of rural living.
Art museums in the Region of South Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein are also asked to suggest interesting artists for the residencies, and are invited to collaborate with one of the artists each, to produce exhibitions of the works created on the ArtFARM. There are 30 artist in residence spaces.
...and also the Pig Tango
One of the key events at the ArtFARM is The Pig Tango - an example of our approach to create novel events in the region that are inspiring and amusing for European audiences.
It is estimated that there are 7 pigs for every human in the Sønderborg region. Pig farming is critical to the economy of the region. To celebrate the pig’s affectionate position in our culture, a ‘Pig Tango’ is created in collaboration with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra. Throughout July and August 2017 the specially trained dancing pigs will perform the pig tango for what might be the first time in the world. The music for the Pig Tango is supplied by live performances from orchestra members, who perform the tango pieces which are proven to get pigs on their feet and moving. At the end of each performance, the humans in the audience are invited to join the fun and dance... and then enjoy a special ‘pig-nic’, with food provided by local chefs and a Food Caravan from the S2017 Food Festival.