61°37'04.3"N 21°25'54.7"E

Cultivating culture

Jernej Čuček Gerbec

Description of work

The project aims to familiarise and promote bread and sourdough as an insight into one of the turning point of our civilisation; as one of the important steps toward building culture and society as we know today. Through the literal act of crop keeping, making an oven, keep a sourdough culture, baking bread and finally sharing the bread, the project aims at initiating a conversation on the position of bread in prehistoric and today society. The artist engages with the audience in conversation from casual up to the point of speculating on the role that grains had on humanity to settle down. In the spirit of sharing culture the artist also organises workshops about bread baking and sourdough keeping. All of this creates openings for shared experiences, thus contributing in a small scope to the wider aspect of culture. Cultivating culture is as much about the microbes as it is about us.


Jernej Čuček Gerbec’s artistic practice is not concerned with medium or concept but with observations. Observations of the common, conventional and the wide-spread. The artist finds poetics in the simple acts of life, recurring conversations, pictures of random passersby and quotidian struggles. The end result is never a simple act of documentation but varies between installation, photography, video, text and sculpture. In his work he tries to highlight the things that may go unnoticed, while at the same time making the end message ambiguous and unclear as to retain its former allure.

The exhibition that didn’t happen.

I wanted to talk to all of you. Visitors or spectators, however we want to define curious people checking out art. I wanted to break bread together and discuss recipes, exchange bread baking tips and talk about it all. I wanted to share my passion for bread, why I believe bread is culture. Nonetheless we gave away out hunter gatherers lives and settled down for it; so we could tend to crops like barley, wheat, einkorn, spelt, rye, teff, etc. Mill these down add some water and finally put the dough on fire, then share this basic breads with your clan.

Sourdough is nothing more than a doughy mixture left unattended, which in turns becomes s starting point for a culture of yeast and lactobacilli, a fortunate mix of friendly critters. Tend to them, keep them fed and you have an endless supply of leaven to make puffier, tastier bread.

Grains and water, this is all you need to provide basic sustenance. How much variety one can make from this two simple ingredients! And regardless at how common the two ingredients are, bread is personal, different and also occasionally ritual.

I wanted to ask you: What bread do you like? Is there any bread that takes you to your childhood? Do you have a story about it? Is there a special place in you culture for it? What is you relationship with bread? Do you bake? Do you make sourdough? Would you like to bake with me? Do you want to learn to bake, make bread, keep a sourdough starter? Can you teach me something? Do you want a slice of bread?

I wanted to host workshops, classes and discussion on bread and everything around.

I wanted to tend to a rye crop and build an earthen oven.

I wanted to tend to several sourdough cultures.

I wanted to bake everyday if possible.

I wanted to share the bread.

I wanted to share