The International Village Shop is a self-initiated, collaborative and trans-local network of shops in which new and existing goods from rural communities are being made and traded.

Some shops are temporary, others permanent. They take on the shape of market stalls, honesty boxes, trading tables and roll-out blankets. Most of the shops can be found in villages, but the shop also frequently enters the art world.

The goods in the shop are collectively developed and produced, and stem from group processes in the different rural communities we work with. Each group decides what could be a good product to represent and embody a particularity of their village, and the new goods make direct use of local knowledge, skills, and remaining natural resources or means of production. The process is critical, productive and open, reflecting on notions of the ‘local’, ‘traditions’ and ‘identity’ as important but evolving signifiers.

A new Village Good is linked to the place with a strong narrative: a local joke about villagers and frogs in Höfen led to the making of a porcelain Frogbutterspoon; socialist working-class histories related to peat extraction informed the Beestachtige Schat; an act of spontaneous communal resistance is commemorated in the Ballykinlar Caravan Pot; and the village of Ohne uses their strong sense of village solidarity to tend a linfield for a year and produce precious notebooks bound in linen .

Frogbutterspoon, Doily Bags, Clayfruit with Noses, Spruchbeutel, Jar Lamp, Tinned Clay, Linseed Oil Towers, Fanas Arrow, Potato Sleeper, a ball is a ball (together with public works), Pantry Linen, Parametenmeterware, Ohner Leinen, Kombis, Embroidered Working Clothes, Ittinger Ei, Farmers´Chinaware, Huangbian Bag, Linen Notebook, Zvizzchi Ceramics, Fufu Bowls, Caravan Pot, Höfer Lace, Janus die Wolfskerze, Esch F6, Wild Treasure, Twisted Bugle, Confectie Boxes.

Accomapnying Village Produce Films document the making of many of the goods: without much talking they show the landscapes the goods come from, the makers doing their work and the materials used. A Promotional Film, made with residents of the Russian village Zvizzchi, highlights some of the shop classics and the very many ways they can be used and interpreted.

Places where the shop has been in the past include:
Intermedia Madrid, Kunstverein Pforzheim, Alt Gatow, TENT in Rotteram, Kartause Ittingen, Jerwood Space, Ohne, Langenthal, Royal Academy in London (together with public works), Campo Adentro in Madrid, Potato Festival, Santiago de Chile, Leeuwarden, Höfen, Boxberg, Springhornhof Neuenkirchen, Kultivator, Tate Britain, Lawson Park (together with Grizedale Arts), Nordhorn, San Francisco, Berlin, the supermarket of Fanas, Eastside Projects in Birmingham, Accra Open Air Stock Exchange, Museum for Contemporary Art in Leipzig, the theatre BRUT in Vienna, Archstoyanie Festival in Zvizzchi, Bogorodskoe Exhibition Hall in Moskow, Gaststätte Timmer in Ohne, Tuinen Mien Ruys in Dedemsvaart, PAV in Torino, Beetsterzwaag.


The shop has its own website: www.internationalvillageshop.net


The International Village Shop has been set up as a joint initiative by Myvillages, public works and Grizedale Arts in 2007. The website went online in 2010 to collate the different versions of the shop and to document the making and distribution of new collective goods. The shop is now run by Myvillages.


2018
Janus, die Wolfskerze
Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Lüneburger Heathlands DE
June 2018

2017
Huangbian Bag
Huangbian in Guangzhou, China.
July 2017

2016
Confectie Boxes
Dedemsvaart NL
July 2016

Wild Treasure / Beestachtige Schat
Kunsthuis Syb, Beetsterzwaag, Opsterland NL
July 2016

Esch F6
Nordhorn, Grafschaft Bentheim DE
May 2016

2015
Indoor and outdoor shopping in Leipzig
Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig DE
October 2015

Fufu Bowls
Ekumfi Ekrawfo, Ghana Central Region
September 2015

2014
Seville Orange Marmelade - Farmers' China
Cartuja Monastery
June 2014

Höfer Waren 2014
Höfen
March 2014

2013
Trade Show Shop
Eastside Projects, Birmingham
December 2013

2012
Ittinger Ware
Kartause Ittingen, Kanton Thurgau, CH
May 2012

2011
International Village Shop at Intermediae in Madrid
Matadero Madrid ES
February 2011

2010
International Village Shop in exhibition Das Dorf
Langenthal
December 2010

Höfer Waren 2010
Höfen, Upper Frankonia, DE
October 2010

Sales at Late at Tate
Tate Britain, London
June 2010

Fanas Products
Fanas, Prättigau, Switzerland
May 2010

Höfer Waren 2010 /Rhyzom workshop
Höfen, Upper Frankonia, Germany
May 2010

2009
Boxberg Products in the International Village Shop
Boxberg, Oberlausitz, DE
August 2009

"a ball is a ball" village produce
Loughborough and Barrow upon Soar, UK
June 2009

2008
Höfer Goods - 2008
Höfen, Upper Frankonia (DE)
October 2008

Village Kiosk at NAI
Rotterdam (NL)
April 2008

Village Shop for Agrifashionista.tv
Online and on site at various locations
January 2008

2007
Höfer Goods - 2007
Höfen, Upper Frankonia (DE)
October 2007