a group project, that raises questions about the romantic notions we have about the countryside
categories curating, research and staging
Angela Rui and Maja Vardjan
The Ljubljana Design Biennial 2017 entitled BIO25 – Farawaysoclose, curated by Angela Rui and Maja Vardjan at the MAO Museum in Ljubljana, invited us to join that edition of the Biennale as so called ‘translators’ to lead a group-project. The international and interdisciplinary team consisted of: Sara Evelyn Brown, Lucia Massari, Nina Mršnik, Johanna Schmeer, Giulia Soldati, Jakob Travnik and us supported by our team Elisa Polner and Bernd van Riel. Countryside Reloaded was our topic to research and to generate a group-project. The group received additional feedback and input by the food researcher Klemen Košir.
From September 2016 until May 2017, the team met many times to discuss and brainstorm together about the countryside and its functions, dysfunctions and possibilities formulating common and individual Design concepts that worked well together as a whole to tell the story of humans as temporary visitors in the constructed countryside: The surroundings of the Genterovci village in the Lendava region of Slovenia has been temporarily transformed into a land of knowledge, a space of awareness and criticism, where food production, consumption, and information are experienced along a 4km-surrealist tour that offers not only walking, but also foraging and eating. Physical interventions along the path function as a live experience of augmented reality exposing the artificial dimension of nature: highlighted navigation elements emphasize the rigid geometry of the land, food fields with 3D infographics feature data related to food production and consumption, and harvesting devices showcase the autonomy of the machines that have replaced human labour. The empty supermarket, as the starting and ending point of the paths, has replaced the model of acquiring food from local exchanges, and is now transformed into a fleeting place for social exchange conveyed through the experience of food. With these varied approaches, each component of the episode, sensitively revisited and staged in the exhibition, challenges the viewers’ perception of the countryside’ (Bio 25 catalogue excerpt)
The path and local projects were installed on site and on view from May until November 2017.
Jakob Travnik: highlighted realities
"Beyond nostalgia and romantic longing for lost traditions, the Countryside Reloaded collective project refers to the manifestation of a hyper-reality related to a constructed countryside illuminated by the designer’s interventions."Bio 25 catalogue
Johanna Schmeer: autonomous agriculture
mischer’traxler studio: food fields
1. the countryside as constructed nature for food production.the thoughts that we tried to bring into the projects
2. less manual work, more automated agriculture.
3. fewer people, empty buildings.
4. new roles? new traditions?
5. old structures, transformed purposes.
Sara Evelyn Brown: empty house
Lucia Massari & Nina Mršnik: dandelion parade
Giulia Soldati: abandoned supermarket
“Through these varied approaches, each component of the episode, sensitively revisited and staged in the current exhibition, challenges the viewers' perception of the countryside.”excerpt from exhibition pamphlet
team countryside reloaded
additional feed back by
Katharina Mischer, Thomas Traxler, Elisa Polner, Bernd van Riel
special thanks to
Robert Recek from the municiality of Lendava,
all the farmers from Genterovci that allowed us to
use their fields and grounds for some of the projects