THIS IS NOT A TROJAN HORSE
5 june - 5 july 2010
"I farm because..." This and other questions were posed by This is Not a Trojan Horse, a large, human-powered, wooden horse designed by Futurefarmers in collaboration with architect Lode Vranken and built at Pollinaria. A mobile site for discussion about issues and possibilities related to rural regeneration, the horse roamed through the villages and farms of Abruzzo, Italy, gathering and exchanging seeds, tools, products and recipes in pursuit of local farming’s virtuous expressions
The horse situated within rural Italy gives rise to several images: the waning practice of shepherding, domestication of the wild... This horse wants to wander freely and enliven the imaginations of farmers to engage them in discourse, artistic production and to parade their truths to power. The idea of the Trojan Horse represents a significant modus operandi for contemporary society, beyond the symbol embedded in the historical-mythical event. This is Not a Trojan Horse is a place for soldiers, but not a symbol of war; it is rather a place for union and gathering, a symbol of community
Various forms of power merge within the design of the horse: human power, bike power and animal power. During its journey, This is Not a Trojan Horse leaves behind the thoughts and memories it has collected, while recording new ones simultaneously. The horse’s "skin" is covered with chalkboards to document perspectives contributed by locals about the future of farming and to record relevant news. The horse becomes a roaming newspaper - The Horse’s Mouth - where the news comes directly, unedited, unmediated from the authors who speak it
A few decades ago wild horses roamed free in Abruzzo and agriculture was a thriving and predominant occupation. Now big box stores, parking lots and gas stations are quickly taking place of pastures and cultivated land, while modern-day agricultural standards threaten the nuances of traditional production. The region gained a momentary spotlight on the world stage soon after the earthquake of L’Aquila in 2009 and during the consequent G8 summit, undergoing important changes within a very short time. This is Not a Trojan Horse emerges as a vehicle for social and material exchange at a pivotal moment in Abruzzo, towards the creation of new thinking that questions the usual discourse of power... "nomadic resistance against biopolitics"
Futurefarmers is a group of artists, designers and architects who use various media to create work that responds to the time and place around them. A constant throughout their work is a concern and critique of systems of capital and their effects on the physical and social environment. They deconstruct food policies, public transportation, rural farming networks to visualize and understand their intrinsic logics. Often through this disassembly they find new narratives and potential reconfigurations that might propose alternatives to the principles that once dominated these systems. Their work provides a playful entry point and tools for an audience to gain insight into deeper fields of inquiry - not only to imagine, but to participate in and initiate change in the places we live