Retopia and Reading

10502125_739094622819879_3485620107090801256_nWelcome to the Opening of Kultivators un-plugged camp Retopia, and the presentation and reading of the author and midwife Ruth Ehrhardt, South Africa, from her book The little green statue.
Introduction by Joanna Sandell, Botkyrka konsthall.
Soup by Leila Perikala.
16.00-20.00, with possibility to stay around the fire throughout the evening…







Retopia is a structure for socializing, exchange, cooking and accommodation for 2-6 guest workers, designed and built on site in Dyestad during the spring and early summer of 2014, by students of Öland Folk High School with the support of Kultivator. By reusing materials and focusing on recycling solutions for energy, waste and water, the site has been designed to burden the environment as little as possible, and serve as a meeting place and focal point in the village. A Guest workers will here be someone who both perform practical work and share cultural expressions with the local community, through a jointly designed and built venue. Same starting point for exchanges are taken in international collaborations that Kultivator and Botkyrka Konsthall has started up in South Africa and Tanzania.

The Little Green Statue tells the story of three generations of Ehrenreich women and spans from 1930 racially segregated rural South Africa to the finishing schools of 1960s Switzerland to present day modern and post Apartheid South Africa.

Maria Burger (later Gigi Ehrenreich) is a barefoot Cape Coloured girl growing up in a missionary town in rural South Africa. At a very young age she is sent to live with her older cousin in Cape Town. As a teenager she meets, falls in love with and marries Kent Ehrenreich and they have three daughters. All is well until Kent finds a contact at Home Affairs and they decide to reclassify from Cape Coloured to White. This changes their lives immensely and they make the move from their Cape Coloured families and friends to a new life in a white neighbourhood. In order to survive this change they need to construct an entirely new family history and pretend they have recently emigrated from Europe. They are very successful at constructing this new reality and become succesful and millionaires.

Carol Ehrenreich is the second daughter of Kent and Maria (Gigi) and it is with much resentment that she goes along with the move from Cape Coloured to White classification at age eight. Angry at the loss of her Cape Coloured family and this new way of life, she is sent off to finishing school in Switzerland at age 18. She spends 20 years in Switzerland and has two daughters there. In her late 30s she moves back to South Africa, in the hope of recapturing her lost roots. Having met and fallen in love with the bushman who had appeared to her once in a vision, they purchase a farm together with the dream of emancipating the Cape Coloured people of South Africa. Carol is unprepared for the alcoholism, physical abuse and violence that meets her plans. Things begin to crumble.The author, Ruth Ehrhardt, was born in Switzerland but has been living in South Africa since she was eight years old.

A midwife and lecturer by trade, Ruth has been working on and off on The Little Green Statue since 2004. She has been visiting family members and collecting stories from her grandmother, mother, aunties, sisters, friends and other family members and hangers on. The book is a weaving together of these stories, a tapestry of old and new, from rural South African mythology to the harsh realties and violence that accompanies South African life.

Ruth is also the published author of Droeland, written for a collection of South African birth stories called Just Keep Breathing published by Jacana. Ruth has also self published a booklet called The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour, an e-book on the role of hormones in childbirth and the environmental factors that effect these hormones. She is also currently working on a book on how to support sexually abused women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Leila Perikala is an Iranian artist, educated in India and since 12 years living in Kalmar, Sweden. She will support the event with a warming vegan soup!

With support of Kulturrådet



Urban horse soil action

schillenboer IMG_9838









Urban horse soil action

The project investigated waste management, play, communality and re-introduction of animal power, with the intervention of two working horses, Sarah and Dalton, who joined us perform a service for social and ecological sustainability in the urban environment.
In a residence at Astrid Noacks atelier in Rådmansgade, Outer Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Kultivator built a common tombola-compost in the backyard of the artspace.
The compost can work as a meeting point for people in the backyard, but also to be a destination for school children from the area that can leave organic waste to it, and study how an organic circuit works. Symbolically, the compost becomes an image of seemingly useless scrap from many households together is broken down and converted into fine soil that gives rise to new life.
To introduce compost to a lot of people and open up for discussion around it, Kultivator ran a campaign to collect green waste by handing out buckets, and then collect them with the help of the two horses pulling a carriage through the neighborhood of Yttre Nörrebro, Copenhagen.
Anyone who wanted could also join her- or himself for parts of the travel. The origin of the idea comes from the second world war-time collection of kitchen waste by horse and buggy in European cities.
At that time, the public was called on to contribute to the common good in times of great need.
In our time and place, the immediate crisis of climate change and soil destruction is less visible, but not less serious. The day of gathering and slowly driving round the area to finally stop at the compost and start it, serves as an accessible and friendly opening to discuss and engage around composting and possible horse re-introduction in the city.
The compost will now digest its first portion of organic waste, and the soil will be used in the
installation of a future roof top garden in the backyard. Sarah and Dalton are back in their
countryside, but not unwilling to come back and work the urban again…

With thanks to the support of Københavns Kommunes Billedkunstudvalg, Funchs Fond and  Konstnärsnämnden




Dream animal workshop












In the Informal settlement Red Hill, Cape Town.

We did a workshop with kids from the area, asking them to imagine and draw animals from their dreams.

Installation of the Dream animals at Zeekoevlei nature reserve, Cape town.

In cooperation with the NGO Red Hill literacy project and Zeekoevlei nature reserv and Botkyrka konsthall. 

with support from iaspis_logo_eng





Context in Flux: workshop

connecting practisesContext in flux symposium 2 Visby
The Swedish Exhibition Agency, Baltic Art Center, Nida Art Colony and Art Lab Gnesta
collaborate to produce the second symposium for invited participants. 
Galleri Syster, Kultivator, GKU, Livia Pancu.
The aim is to develop tools that can assist cultural institutions
who work in many and overlapping contexts. 






Workshop in connective practices,

2 steps recipe of Initiating, performing, and reconsidering connections.
Step1, initiate connection with the local situation outside of the artspace.

Ingredients: Cows, scissors, paint, gloves, fields, stables, conversation, rubber-boots, soup, curiosity and brushes.

Approach a nearby farm, by offering help with things they actually need to have done.
Perform these tasks according to the instructions of the farmer, and use the opportunity to talk to each-other,
to the people on the farm, to experience the landscape and enjoy the animals. Eat together.
The connection is established. It is yet to see whether it will be continued, and if and for whom it will be of value in the future.

Step 2, Inventory and reconsider old and new connections

Ingredients: paper, memory, pen, coffee, candidness and time.

Write down all people, organizations and businesses your organization is connected with.
Take care of noting all connections, also unprofessional, or family members or friends.
Use time and coffee. Consider if they are a plus or a minus to your organization.
Consider if your organization is a plus or a minus for them?
Reconsidering of connections is done. It might influence the way you value some connections.

Kultivator is built up as a connective practice, bridging between art and agriculture since nearly 10 years.
The intricate net of connections, debt, non-outspoken agreements and practical exchange in a rural village
is at our disposal, sometimes as the means of making things happen in our practice,
sometimes as the subject of an artwork. Always in flux, always reconsidered.
With the two steps workshop, we want to share our experience of engaging in the local community
for material as well as conceptual feed.




Urban Horse Soil Action step 1

urban horse pieceKultivator  at  a residence at
Astrid Noacks atelier:

In April 2014, Kultivator wants to build a warm-compost adjacent to the ANA in Copenhagen. The compost will be designed as a possible meeting place for people in the immediate vicinity of the backyard, but also to be a destination for a class of school children from the area who want to leave some organic waste to it, and study how a circuit works.



Symbolically, the compost becomes an image of seemingly useless scrap from many households together is broken down and converted into fine soil that gives rise to new life.
To introduce the compost and create awareness around it, Kultivator is planned a 1-2 day campaign that collects the first green waste for the compost with the help of a Police horse.
The origin of the idea comes from the old-time collection of waste by horse and buggy, especially in Holland, where the collector with his horse was a popular social institution wandering from door to door, collecting potato peeling and other green waste, mainly for animal feed.
In a song by Dutch singer Jaap Put is described how the children rush to the door with a lump of sugar on hand at the sound of the horse-hoofs clattering onto the street. Today the clatter of hoofs on streets, especially in areas like Nørrebro, is more likely to mean that the police took their horses out. The associations connected with the sound are quite different from the ones of the song.