25.9.2009 - 22.11.2009
Ortehem. Poliklinik, Vilnius, Litauen
Vera Lauf und Ula Tornau, freie Kuratorinnen in Kooperation mit dem CAC (Contemporary Art Center) Vilnius
ShopperZeries 2.0 Combo
Vilnius can be described as a City with two faces. On the one side there is the Post-Soviet era with its globalization and turbo-capitalism, on the other, there remain the traditional structures, habits, networks and customs of Soviet or Pre-Sovjet times. In recent years, the economic boom lead to dramatic changes in the social structure as well as in the building style. This can easily be seen in the tall glass office towers, the malls, high class apartment buildings and shopping zones with its well known chain-stores. Along side this formal, globally oriented economy exists an informal economy, consisting individuals selling goods – often handmade – and services.
The visible part of this informal economy is clearly present in the salesmen and -women standing in the streets, squares or markets selling all kinds of wares. If you look just a little more closely, you will see little signs in the windows or on the doors of the prefabricated housing blocks, stating, for instance - "drabužių taiszmas" which means, someone is offering tailoring. The most bizarre example of these signs was a wooden beam with a pulley sticking out of a window of a prefab residential building, obviously: a heavy goods moving service.
The current economic crisis - which continues to have an enormous impact on Lithuania - will probably lead to an increase of the informal sector. Our presented project aims to promote the informal sector in the public sphere. The greater the number of individuals opening their own little business in the public space, the stronger and more unique the character of urban life in Vilnius will become. It will make the informal sector more transparent and strengthen the public space as a sphere of social interaction, negotiation and the exchange of services.
We propose mobile service units for one man or woman businesses, consisting of re-used and slightly modified shopping carts. The existing shopping carts have an immense potential of usage and can be - with basic tools and craftsman skills - transformed into working-units for production, sales booths, repair or service stands or even performing platforms.
In the exhibition VILNIUS COOP: gaps, fictions and practices, we will present prototypes of the shopper-service-units. These are meant as a starting point or as a kick-off of an open-source ongoing project. Therefore a sketch-book will be part of the exhibition and the visitors are asked to participate by drawing or writing their own ideas for extending the series. At the same time the visitors can take the easy-to-build instruction manuals to create their own unit.
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