A Tale Of A Tub

Event Onsite 6 February 2020 from 18:00 to 20:00

Opening: Wenn ich nicht hier bin, bin ich auf’m Sonnendeck | Johannes Büttner

You are warmly invited to the opening of the solo exhibition ‘Wenn ich nicht hier bin, bin ich auf’m Sonnendeck’ by Johannes Büttner on the 6th of February from 18:00 until 20.00. The opening will coincide with a performance by Der menschliche Mottek.

C.o.C.A. Commission 2019 recipient Johannes Büttner makes exuberant and often post-apocalyptic sculptural installations which offer a critical perspective on present-day issues of labour, power and alienation. For his exhibition at A Tale of A Tub, Büttner presents a newly commissioned sculptural installation alongside three recent works that deal with the relationship between human and mechanised labour. In his socially engaged artistic practice Büttner raises questions such as: What role does artistic labour have in our society, and how does it compare to other forms of work? How are aesthetic experiences produced and consumed within capitalism? In what way is the ‘gig economy’ reshaping our ideas about productivity, value and growth?

Büttner often collaborates with people from outside the art world, for example by complicating the role of the audience or by working with body builders, metal thieves, food delivery riders or bakers, in order to consider our mutual desires, dreams, fears and prejudices on both an individual and collective level. For his newly commissioned work Büttner employs the digital working class in the collective development of a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk. Through the creation of a sci-fi narrative, co-authored with ‘workers’ from China, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tunisia, Büttner searches for ways in which labour power carries the potential for transformation in a context where the supply and demand of work is mediated by a digital platform. The result is a monumental sculptural installation that serves as an ode to the contemporary worker.

This tenth edition of the C.o.C.A. Commission is curated by Suzanne Wallinga, co-founder and former director of A Tale of a Tub. The C.o.C.A. Foundation is a private initiative that supporting young artists in the Netherlands with a yearly commission. Previous recipients include Kate Cooper, Jay Tan, Rory Pilgrim, Katarina Zdjelar, Christian Friedrich, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Paul Geelen, Lotte Reimann and Emma van der Put.


This exhibition is made possible thanks to with the generous support of the City of Rotterdam, the Mondriaan Fund and the C.o.C.A. Foundation.

'The possibility of another life expresses itself directly in a cop car on fire and obliquely in the faces of my friends', 2019, installation view 16th Istanbul Biennial.
'Untitled (Free Energy)', 2018, installation view la Panacée, Montpellier.
'Untitled (Survivalist)', 2017, installation with sound, in collaboration with Bastian Hagedorn. Installation view Waldburger Wouters, Brussels.
The artist's studio, January 2020.