open here: consTRUCKtions – conNEXTions
community, art and diverstity in a common Europe
was a European cultural project funded under the EU-programme “Culture 2000”. It took place in Munich and various other European partner cities from January to October 2007. The Department of Arts and Culture, City of Munich, was the initiator and coordinator; I had the honour to be the project’s artistic director. Co-organizers and partners were Soho in Ottakring (Vienna), Divadelní Ústav (Prague), Metal Culture (Liverpool), Cola Production (Marseilles) and Cosmos of Culture (Athens).
origins of the artistic idea
a truck as mobile performance / exhibition space and living archive
In the beginning I called the idea of a travelling art space “virtual vandalism” which meant that the truck would provide the possibility to transform any place into a temporary artistic zone. By using projection, sound and action I intended to create a “temporary graffity”, changing the character of a space for a very short while and thereby changing people’s ideas and perceptions of it.
Later I was able to realise a related performance in a public space called “Nomadenlager” (nomadscamp) in Munich. This performance and installation involved various differently shaped white tents that were built around the specific needs of their inhabitants: artists from different disciplines and nationalities were invited to “live” in their tent for one night. The artists were communicating with each other by sound, light, voice and movement – symbolising the nomadic nature of cultural exchange.
With, Dr. Elisabeth Tworek, Head of the Monacensia (the City of Munich’s literary archive) and expert on archives, the idea of the truck as “living artistic archive” came into existance. First we considered following the traces of artists from Munich who had to flee from the Nazi Regime before the second world war. We wanted to use the archive of the Monacensia as starting point, follow the traces of the past and thereby create a new archive documenting the present. Finally – working together with the Munich Kulturreferat EU-project team – we ended up focussing on the contemporary and wide ranging topic of migration today including the very different situations and history of our european partners.
The present concept fuses these various ideas – at its core remains the intention to create an open space for exchange between people and cultures through artitic interventions.
statement about the project
For me this project is primarily about the process of working collectively, of moving, of encountering and of the resulting inspiration. It is my job to create the space and clear-cut structures which will then stimulate the unbridled emergence of new ideas.
This project’s angle on ‘migration’ results from the artists’ encounters with local conditions and idiosyncrasies, the Munich environment and the reactions of people across Europe to the artists, the truck and its artistic baggage’. Confrontations, conflicts and provocation are just as much a part of this process as friendship, inspiration and mutual enrichment.
As an artist, I keep looking for ways to make art outside of any predefined art-space. The idea of a travelling “guerilla” art space/studio has been haunting me for many years – to place myself and my art into the everyday life of a society. By doing so, I get the chance to give and receive direct impulses.
Questions keep coming up – what is the role of art in this society?
Is it needed anymore? How can we contribute as artists tackling such complex issues as migration and all it entails?
For me this project is primarily about the process and experiment of working collectively, of moving, of encountering and of the resulting inspiration. The aim is not to find a clear answer to the questions above, rather to find fresh ways to ask them.