On 9 June 2019, Karin Sander's Gebrauchsbilder (Patina Paintings), which had been exhibited in the Amden Atelier since 2014, were on display for the last time. In the evening, the unpacked paintings were mounted on the roof of a jeep and transported away by the artist. On the same day, Bill Burns, who had been at the Amden Atelier the year before with his performance The Salt, the Donkey, the Apple (2018), exhibited a series of drawings from the cycle The Great Trading Project and used the occasion to present an edition of the same name, which was specifically produced for the Amden Atelier.
– Roman Kurzmeyer
The Great Trading Project
The Great Trading Project is about things that change hands – exchanges and trades. The project was inspired by gifts of caribou meat and whale blubber I received while working in the Arctic. The first exchange transactions in the Great Trading Project took place at Amden, Switzerland, in 2018. I carried salt up a mountain trail, with the assistance of two donkeys. On the way up I picked some apples and traded a few of them for honey at the beekeeper’s house. At the top of the mountain we dipped the apples in honey and ate them with a pinch of salt. The Amden transactions were the prototype for a more expansive project. Possible scenarios for future transactions might go like this: We acquire a barrel of codfish in Newfoundland. The fish is salted. The barrel is conveyed by sea or air transport to Greece where it is swapped for a trip of goats that in turn is exchanged for a load of raw honey. By and by, we depart Greece with two airtight container loads of honey bound for Egypt. After receiving our moorage assignment at Alexandria, we haggle for several days, eventually reaching a deal for the exchange of honey for crude oil. Passage is subsequently arranged through unpredictable waters to Lebanon. In Beirut, we exchange the crude oil for olives. From Beirut we conduct ourselves through swarms of traffic towards the Bosporus, passing through by barge and tug, and continuing to the Black Sea port of Anaklia, Georgia. Sliding into a slip at Anaklia, we negotiate the trade of our olives for timber. We then rush headlong back to Turkey with an impressive load of timber. In Turkey, we barter the timber for tree nuts and black pepper. Our load of nuts and peppercorns is then bound by truck to Slovenia where we trade for sheep. And so on and so forth, with many variations.
– Bill Burns