Saturday, 16. September, 11:00 – 21:00
Sunday, 17. September, 11:00 – 16:00

SCHAU FENSTER Berlin @ Laden für Nichts
Spinnereistraße 7 | Exhibition Hall 18 | 04179 Leipzig

Download Info in English (PDF) | Download Info in German (PDF)

Participating Artist

  • Minor Alexander
  • Julia Benz
  • Marc Fromm
  • Lukas Glinkowski
  • Sebastian Gögel
  • Peter Gregorio
  • Tine Günther
  • Paule Hammer
  • Julia Herfurth
  • Jirka Pfahl
  • Bodo Rott
  • Josip Zanki

The SWEAT SHOP, which took place during the 2016 Art Gallery Weekend, received enthusiastic reviews. The capitalism critical performance will set up shop at this year’s open doors at the Spinnereigalerien Leipzig. 12 artists will participate in this multimedia art happening – the SWEAT SHOP Leipzig 2017.


The SWEAT SHOP is an interdisciplinary artwork: happening, performance and art trade in one. 12 artists will work in three shifts at the Leipzig’s Laden für Nichts and reflect the conditions under which trade goods in general and in the arts specifically are being produced in the capitalist world.

The SWEAT SHOP lines out the commonalities of art and money. The experiment comments on production methods in a globalized world and plays with the differences of art production in East and West.

SWEAT SHOP is a performance.
SWEAT SHOP is an installation.
SWEAT SHOP is mulitmedial.
SWEAT SHOP is a simulacrum.
SWEAT SHOP is worldwide.
SWEAT SHOP is political.
SWEAT SHOP is philsophical.
SWEAT SHOP is a shop.

On the occasion of this year’s open doors at the Spinnereigalerien Leipzig 2017, which draws an international crowd to the Saxon art city, a group of artists of different backgrounds and art fields will work and produce art at the Laden für Nichts under sweatshop conditions.

They will be given a chair and table, the canvases and will bring their own paint and any other supplies. During their five hour shift they remain in their limited work space. Four artists will be working simultaneously.

We offer canvases in the common formats 50x40 cm and 60x50 cm, as well as paper in DIN A4 and A3. These blank canvases each have a base price, which will be the foundation for the final pricing.

Base prices:
Canvas: 50x40 cm – 120 €
Canvas: 60x50 cm – 160 €
Paper: DINA4 – 60 €
Paper: DINA3 – 80 €

The buyer purchases the medium and instructs his or her favorite artist to produce an art piece (per choice with design instructions or a free art piece). With each purchase the price for the next unit will increase by 15 %. This reflects the supply and demand principles.

The SWEAT SHOP will be hosted on two stages: live at the Laden für Nichts with the present audience and simultaneously via video streams of each artist’s space. This allows the buyers to be present while their artwork is being produced and function as a second supervisory entity. The intimacy of the art studio will be broken up and replaced by the cold, voyeuristic eye of the market.

If the art works of a particular artist are selling out faster than those of his or her colleagues this will be reflected in the price increase per sold unit. Our Artist Index on the website shows the live ranking and revenue each artist created so far. This illustrates the success of each artist and the commercial aspect of the experiment. The artists stand in direct competition to each other. Bestsellers will take the front placements while the shelf warmers will fall behind.


Even though it is difficult and imprecise to generalize and simplify the differences between western and eastern art conceptions they do exist. For instance, the western, modern tradition strives for the original work (unless copying is part of the art process and statement). The artists follow their own artistic intentions and use it as a means to express their individualism. In the eastern tradition on the other hand young artists practice the perfection of art techniques by copying. Only the true master may be a free artist.

This performance combines these basic and philosophical discrepancies of eastern and western art concepts. Our SWEAT SHOP artists are obligated to accept a booking, however, they are free to interpret the customer’s instructions. The buyer invests in the style of the artist he booked. Eastern ways with western means.

This staging of capitalistic principles is also a quote of production conditions in a globalized world. The true sweatshops in emerging economies are the outsourced, modern version of Manchester-Capitalism. Low-wage tasks are exported and executed by armies of exploited workers in dilapidated factories. These brutal and inhumane production conditions are one side of the medal. The other being bargain T-shirts, trousers and smartphones for everyone. And if you choose to believe it it’s said to be the starting point of the economic rise for the participating regions.

Feedback from last year’s participants underlined the experimental character of the SWEAT SHOP from their perspective. Most artists had not been in a situation of having to produce so many results in such a short time. It was a unique experience that also made it obvious how privileged most of us are in our daily work setup. They felt the pressure of competition and the absurdity of the market. The first piece might have been the artistic highlight, nonetheless it sold cheapest. As a banknote is an abstract representation of value, a purely social convention, solely the growing demand in the SWEAT SHOP produces the projected value of each art piece – and thus the price to be paid.


The artist’s work can be followed via live streams on the website. Each work box will have its own stream. The Artist Index reflects the current ranking and shows the revenue achieved by each artist so far. So potential buyers can watch and order from anywhere in the world. Simply pick your favorite artist, send your instructions, pay via paypal and watch your artist rise.


At the same time, art works by the participating artists will be shown, that have not been produced during the SWEAT SHOP. The Group show will be open to the public for the first time, due to this special occasion, in the office room of Laden Für Nichts.   


SWEAT SHOP is a group project initiated by Jan Kage and realized with the help of Samsarah Lilja who complements the venture with her years of experience in strategy, design and web development. She is responsible for creating the sweatshop platform. The SWEAT SHOP was first successfully set up during the Gallery Weekend 2016 in Berlin. More than 200 art pieces with a total value of over 20.000 Euro were commissioned and sold.

This year the SWEAT SHOP received significant support from Uwe-Karsten Günther and Jule Schmidtke from Laden für Nichts, Leipzig. They made it possible to continue the SWEAT SHOP in Leipzig.


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