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Art Upper Swabia 20th Century
1970 Untill Today Installation, Media and Conceptual Art

Shacks – Youth Culture in Upper Swabia

With this exhibition the Museum Villa Rot is for the first time concerned with an extraordinary phenomenon of the regional youth culture of Upper Swabia which meanwhile became an indispensable part of rural life. The rural life is for young people often monotonous. Because the local pubs and the sports clubs did not offer proper alternatives, some committed youths fulfilled the dream of an own place around 20 years ago: In abandoned barns, dumped construction trailers and disused “Kartoffelkeller” (potato cellar), they established their shelters and they named them “Buden”. In their “Buden”, they could be undisturbed and organise their free time according to their ideas. Today, you can find a shack at almost every location, at every village of the administrative district Biberach, often even more than one at a municipal. All in all, there are about 200. In no other region they play a more important role as in the region of Upper Swabia. Today, they exist in every thinkable form: as container, garages and construction trailer, as log cabins and renovated old buildings, in a finished roof timbering or cellar, always with water supply, electricity and sanitary facilities. What began as an illegal undertaking became a political accepted, even legalised phenomenon which affected the local youth work in a positive way. Different than the municipal youth houses, the shacks with the entire inventory are always in private ownership of the local youth groups. The shelters were build and furnished with their own resources and their own physical efforts. There are house rules, the power of keys, regulated opening hours and an active commitment of the young concerning the care of the local traditions of their village community. This way, the bonfires at the end of Carnival are erected by the members of the shacks, the May tree is provided, the “Klausentreiben” is cared and much more. Through the shacks developed an autonomous sub culture which effected the socialisation of the rural space in a positive way and raise the youth to responsible adults. With the exhibition project, the idiosyncrasies of that youth culture are worked out in cooperation between prestigious international artists, some of them from Upper Swabia, and selected representatives of shack groups and they are presented in photos, objects and installations. The project is being documented in a detailed catalogue and is being accompanied by Stefan Buri from the “Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für empirische Kulturwissenschaften der Universität Tübingen”.

Participating Artists

Rolf Giegold
Christian Hagemann
Simon Gallus
Corinna Gerling
Henry M. Linder
Hermann Josef Müller
Rolf Wicker

With friendly support of: