Social Honey – Project and Book Presentation

A project about urban beekeeping and social engagement

Upcoming > Social Honey

Publication launch “Something Always Blooms” and presentation of the project “Social Honey” about urban beekeeping, social engagement and the conceptual museum by finger group/Florian Haas, Andreas Wolf, Frankfurt and Katalin Erdődi curator, Budapest and Vienna. Followed by an open discussion on art, agriculture and social practice, spiked with city honey-tasting and honey-wine spritzer!

Social engagement, urban beekeeping, conceptual museum

In 2013 the Frankfurt-based finger group (Florian Haas/Andreas Wolf) and the curator Katalin Erdődi opened Budapest’s first urban beeyard on the back terrace of Kunsthalle, combining contemporary art with community engagement. They started a “mixed bee group” which gave around 40 people – with different backgrounds and living situations – a chance to learn about urban beekeeping and take care of three bee families with the help of a local beekeeper. On top of the beehives a “New Museum for Bees” was opened for six weeks, welcoming visitors with thematic, bee-scale exhibitions.

Do bees do democracy better than we do? Should we eat them? The exhibitions explored the parallels of human and bee societies: they discussed honeybee democracy and swarm intelligence to address on-going political changes, and focused on the urgency of the global food crisis by starting a public vote about eating insect meat. By founding a new museum, the artists also aimed to react to the situation of the Kunsthalle, an art institution on the verge of losing its autonomy, as well as the plans to build a new museum quarter in the nearby City Park. What kind of museums for what publics? Can an art institution keep its autonomy and become self-sustaining – e.g. by producing honey on its premises?

“Something Always Blooms” – With essays, interviews, poems, honeywine recipe and a map of Budapest’s prime bee feeding places, the final publication of Social Honey gives insight into these artistic and beekeeping practices.

The publication is launched on 12 October in Vienna and on 13 October in Budapest in collaboration with finger group and the curator Katalin Erdődi.

The project and publication were supported by ERSTE Foundation. Social Honey was realized with the kind support of: MitOst e.V., Schering Foundation, ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. The project was the winner of the 2013 competition, a joint programme of Schering Foundation and MitOst Association.

Photo credit: finger group / Social Honey, 2013 / © Pál Péter Seprűs