Having been given carte blanche by mudac, Markus and Daniel Freitag have joined forces with conceptual artists Frank & Patrik Riklin, known for their offbeat practice outside of ordinary artistic circles. The four brothers share a mindset and similar fundamental principles underlie their work: actions centred on resources, the enjoyment of social interaction, and a cyclical way of thinking and acting.
Their project is not confined to the museum and largely takes place in public space. The Freitag and Riklin brothers set off in early summer to meet users of FREITAG bags, which are made from used truck tarpaulins. They invited them to take part in an action which pushes the manufacturing process for their products to the edge of absurdity: to give up their bags and let them return to being a lorry tarpaulin. A hundred bags were garnered from around the world.
In the Zurich factory where every FREITAG bag is cut, the four brothers unpicked the bags they had gathered in, pieced and soldered them together. The lorry tarpaulin was transformed… into a lorry tarpaulin, pushing the FREITAG upcycling principle ad absurdum. The new multicoloured patchwork tarpaulin was mounted on a truck and the Freitag and Riklin brothers set off in August on a road trip around Switzerland. They engaged in dialogue with people in every region about consumption and production in the 21st century with action such as getting people to make soup from the leftovers found on the various floors of an apartment building.
These experiences and encounters gave birth to objects that are both surprising and original, made, in turn, from the re-re-recycled lorry tarp: these include a free-rider seat, a shopping bag prosthesis and even a compost catapult, then tested on the people of Lausanne. This ironic take on recycling, extended to infinity, frees up the very serious position on consumption and our contemporary use of resources taken by the Freitag and Riklin brothers.