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The Land Grant: Flatbread Society

The Land Grant: Flatbread Society is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Alison Gass, Deputy Director and Curator of Contemporary Art. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.

September 5, 2014–October 12, 2014

About the Exhibition

Participants include Amy Franceschini, Tara McDowell, Boris Portnoy, Stijn Schiffeleers, and Lode Vranken.

For this iteration of The Land Grant project, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is partnering with the widely acclaimed Flatbread Society (FBS), an international public art project that brings together farmers, oven builders, astronomers, artists, soil scientists, bakers, anthropologists, and others who share an interest in humankind’s long and complex relationship with grain. Led by San Francisco–based artist Amy Franceschini and the design studio and artists’ collective Futurefarmers, FBS projects extend across the globe, with each iteration bringing together a specific constellation of collaborators. At the MSU Broad this group will include artists, an architect, a writer, a musician, a curator, and a chef, whose work together  will draw upon the deep knowledge and experience of local farmers, ceramicists, folklorists, sociologists, musicians, and economists.

The history of the development of human civilization, from early technological innovations to cultural evolution, can be told through the story of grain. But that story is also a local story, and one that East Lansing knows well. The Land Grant: Flatbread Society invites us to think differently about that story and to imagine new agricultural models. Through an exhibition, a variety of public programs and workshops, and a publication, FBS at the MSU Broad will explore possibilities for scaling down food production and keeping distribution local and will propose practices that encourage farmers to remain connected to their craft and more hands-on farming methods

About The Land Grant: Art, Agriculture, and Sustainability
Positioned against Michigan State University’s history as a land-grant university and in relation to the school’s strong commitment to education in agricultural practice and land, water, and energy use, the MSU Broad’s The Land Grant project aims to explore contemporary art and architecture that works with and around these issues, both within the museum’s walls and across the university’s vibrant campus.

The Land Grant is an artists’ residency and commissioning program that offers an extraordinary context for artistic production focusing on issues such as food justice, farming, and environmental awareness. Each year, artists, architects, or collectives will be invited to undertake an ongoing research project or residency on the MSU campus, and will be given the opportunity to delve into the university’s rich history and relevant current practices across academic disciplines. Based at the MSU Broad and at times working in partnership with various schools and institutes on campus and in the surrounding community, the awardees will have access to what today are rare commodities in the art world: acres of land and a veritable think-tank of leaders in the arts, agricultural practice, and environmental studies.

Flatbread Society is a project initiated and rooted in Oslo by Futurefarmers as part of Slow Space, a public art programme for Bjorvika harbour in Oslo produced by Situations and commissioned by Bjorvika Infrastruktur.

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