Antje Schiffers spent a year in a remote mexican village drawing plants like a botanist would do; she applied for a job as a company artist in the tyre industry as if such a job existed; she travelled through Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan as an itinerant painter offering paintings for food and accommodation. In 2000 she started “I like being a farmer and I would like to stay one”, an ongoing project with Thomas Sprenger, offering a barter trade to farmers: a painting of their farm in exchange for a film done by the farmers. In 2003 Antje, Wapke Feenstra (Rotterdam, NL) and Kathrin Böhm (London, UK) founded myvillages.org, an artist initiative with an interest in the rural as place of cultural production. Under the umbrella of myvillages.org they run long-term and collaborative projects like the ‘bibliobox’ and the ‘International Village Shop’. They try to bring together supposedly opposed aspects of society by implementing conventions or one-hour-village-shops, publishing books, doing shows or, lately, filling a larder with food, drinks and knowledge in a one-year-process for a festival in Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (the ‘Vorratskammer’).
Wapke, Antje and Thomas plan to use their residency in Montalvo to deepen their vision of rural America and work on the expanision of their archive of farmers’ films.