The original SWEAT SHOP successfully launched during the 2016 Berlin Gallery Weekend at Kreuzberg’s well-known art venue SCHAU FENSTER.
In September 2017 we went on an excursion to Leipzig’s famous Spinnerei Open Doors.

Today we present 16 fresh artists, who will willingly be exploited to fulfil their client’s wishes with their individual, artistic means, during this year’s Berlin Gallery Weekend on 27th and 28th of April, 2019. Be it face-to-face at the SCHAU FENSTER or following our concurrent live streams online – for all those, who can’t make it to Berlin in person.

Saturday, 27. April, 10:00 – 22:00
Sunday, 28. April, 10:00 – 22:00

Lobeckstraße 30-35 | 10969 Berlin

Email: info@sweatshop.gallery

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

Participating Artist

Thomas Draschan Ismael Duá – else (Twin) Gabriel – Sebastian Gögel – Alona Harpaz – Marc von der Hocht – Sybille Hotz – Miriam Lenk – Nathan Henderson – Stefan Rinck – Maik Schierloh – Susanne Schirdewahn – Alexander von Schlieffen – Henry Woller – Rahel Zaugg – Sarah Zelmati 

Download Info, Flyer, Logos

Download PDF (EN)   Download PDF (DE)   Download Flyer (EN)   Download Logos (ZIP)



The SWEAT SHOP is an interactive art happening, a performance, an opportunity to observe contemporary artists in action, and even more so: to commission them with your unique artwork. All in the broader sense of Kippenberger: „Dear artist, paint for me!“

The SWEAT SHOP broaches the issue of production conditions in times of globalized capitalism. The countries that produce our smart phones and cheap clothing under – to say the least – doubtful circumstances also show a very different art tradition. This experiment outlines the commonalities of art and money and the different understanding and approaches to art production in general.

On the occasion of this year’s Gallery Weekend Berlin, which draws an international crowd to the German capital, a group of artists of different backgrounds and art fields will work and produce art at the art venue SCHAU FENSTER under sweatshop conditions.
They will be given a chair, table and canvases but have to bring their own paint and other supplies. During their six hour shift they remain in their limited work space of 5 x 4 metres. Four artists will be working simultaneously. Cameras will observe and stream every move.

The buyer purchases the plain canvas and instructs his or her favourite artist to produce a new art piece. With each item sold the price for the next unit will – following supply and demand principles – increase by 15 %.

The SWEAT SHOP will be hosted on two stages: on locationwith live audience and simultaneously via video streams – one for each work space. SCHAU FENSTER is quite literally a former production line display room with a 25 metre glass façade on ground level, which allows buyers and spectators to be present while the artwork is being created and thus function as additional supervisors. The intimacy of the art studio is broken up and replaced by the cold, voyeuristic eye of the market. But this also discloses the stress and ugliness of having to create art under such sweatshop conditions.

If the art works of one 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 and on location shows the live ranking and revenue each artist created up to this point. This illustrates the success of each artist and the commercial aspect of the experiment, feeding into the natural sensationalism for record sells by star artist as opposed to genuine interest in the art itself. The artists stand in direct competition to each other. Our top-sellers will take the front placements while the shelf warmers will fall behind.

Theory Approach

Even though it is difficult 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 distinctions 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 as they see fit. 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 previous 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 and had to extend their personal comfort zone quickly. 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.

Online and Analog

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 up to this point.

Potential buyers can watch and order from anywhere in the world. Simply pick your favourite artist, send your instructions, pay via PayPal or cash and watch your artist’s value rise!


SWEAT SHOP is a project by Jan Kage and Samsarah Lilja, who complements the venture with her years of experience in strategy, design and web development. She is responsible for creating the SWEAT SHOP platform.