About Compost

Phase 01: Turning the Heap, 16 June to 24 July 2021
Phase 02: For Future Use, 14 September to 16 October 2021

The Showroom
63 Penfold Street
UK London NW8 8PQ

Open Wednesday - Saturday, 12-5pm

Compost is a collaborative exhibition between artist Kathrin Böhm and The Showroom London that explores twenty+ years of Kathrin's practice. For six weeks throughout June and July 2021, a cumulation of objects and methodologies fills the gallery space, opening up a process of fertiliser-making: to sieve through, access and process the work, using the methods of the practice: working one-to-one, in public, and towards use.

During Phase 02 of Compost first findings, conclusions and fertiliser are going to be articulated and organised across the gallery, ready for take-away and future use.

Kathrin has been working on-site at The Showroom throughout Phase 01. In a synthesis of spatial, visual, social and economic processes, the public act of composting is being organised around principles of usership of art, collectivised resources and economic possibilities; guided by an urgent sense of discontinuing ‘business as usual’.

Compost in the form it takes at The Showroom has been in-the-making for many years, stemming from a desire to discontinue repetitive artistic production, and to feed all energy into the reproduction of systems that enable the values of the practice: making everyday complexities shareable, supporting cultural democracy and commoning the resources we have access to.

Kathrin Böhm: Compost

Lily Hall, Curator: In Public

Seema Manchanda, Managing Director: For Use

Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director: One to One

About Kathrin Böhm

Kathrin Böhm is a London based artist who considers herself local in Hackney and Höfen. Her work is operating in and outside of the art world, practicing in the real economy and connecting different trans-local communities. Main interests in her work are the collective (re-)production of public space, trade as public realm & the everyday as a starting point for culture.

For Kathrin culture is an everyday activity and it is everywhere. The way we do things together, constitutes the spaces and economy we have and want to have. Her motto is to think things in the making, and her emphasis is on translating ideas for a better future into actualities.

Kathrin is a founding member of the international artist group Myvillages (Myv), the artist initiative Keep it Complex - Make it Clear (KIC), art and architecture collective Public Works (pw), and the Centre for Plausible Economies. She set up the Haystacks series in 2013 and arts enterprise Company Drinks in 2014.

In 2020 she stopped starting more new projects and is currently composting what she has produced as an artist so far, in order to make fertiliser for evolving long term infrastructures such as the Rural School of Economics, Company Drinks and The Centre for Plausible Economies.

About The Showroom

The Showroom is a contemporary art space focused on collaborative approaches to cultural production within its locality and beyond.

We commission and produce art and discourse; providing an engaging, collaborative programme that challenges what art can be and do for a wide range of audiences, including art professionals and our local community.

Our programme focuses on collaborative and process-driven approaches to production be that art work, exhibitions, events, discussions, publications, knowledge and relationships. Through major commissions and smaller projects we work with artists and other practitioners who have not previously had significant exposure in London, often introducing international artists to London, and working in partnership with other individuals and organisations within our networks, both at home and abroad.

We also work closely with our local community through an aspect of the programme called Communal Knowledge, and have developed strong, long-term relationships with local groups and individuals who we bring together to work in partnership with artists on specific projects and commissions which feed into the programme as a whole.

Public events and workshops form part of these commissions, with a broader programme of publishing, research and events including discussions, screenings, panels, book launches and performances running alongside.

The Showroom was established in 1983 and in 2013 celebrated thirty years of supporting artists to stage their first solo shows in London and its role as a pivotal force in the development of contemporary art practice.


Digitising area

Notes made by visitors

Installation Shot Compost Phase 01, June 2021

Shop Counter Phase 01

Pages from 'Icebergian Economies of the Art World' by Kuba Szreder and Kathrin Böhm

'and millions and millions' in use

Archive box 'This is the Shop' for Communal Knowledgege

Archive box 'Trade Show'

Business cards pile

Company Drinks' drinks cabinet

'Herland' together with Grace Ndiritu

Shop Counter, trading system for the day

Installation shot, slogan wall

Diagramming Compost

Choose and use

Myvillages' tractor tyre

Live streaming during the opening in partnership with PARSE Journal


Shop sign from 'Trade Show'

'Culture is a Verb' from Mansions of the Future, Lincoln