culture360.asef.org » Magazine http://culture360.asef.org Connecting Asia and Europe through arts and culture Tue, 30 Jun 2015 03:34:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Orde Baru OK.Video Festival | Interview with the Artistic Director Mahardika Yudhahttp://culture360.asef.org/asef-news/orde-baru-ok-video-festival-interview-with-the-artistic-director-mahardika-yudha/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=orde-baru-ok-video-festival-interview-with-the-artistic-director-mahardika-yudha http://culture360.asef.org/asef-news/orde-baru-ok-video-festival-interview-with-the-artistic-director-mahardika-yudha/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 03:28:33 +0000 Valentina Riccardi http://culture360.asef.org/?p=52987

As part of the media partnership between ASEF culture360 and Orde Baru - OK.Video Festival, we have interviewed Mahardika Yudha, the Artistic Director of OK.Video  Read More

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As part of the media partnership between ASEF culture360 and Orde Baru – OK.Video Festival, we have interviewed Mahardika Yudha, the Artistic Director of OK.Video. This  year he is also doubling as the curator of the exhibition after previously serving as the curator of OK.Video Flesh – 5th Jakarta International Video 2011 for the sub-theme of Surveillance & Self Potrait with Rizki Lazuardi.

 

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  • The OK. Video festival has been successfully organized by Ruangrupa since 2003 under the name ‘Jakarta International Video Festival’. This year, the festival came with a new name, Orde Baru or “New Order”. Could you tell us the reasons behind the change of its name?

The idea of changing the name and expanding the artistic medium of the festival has popped up since 2009. During that time, the use of the internet by the public had begun to show positive impacts.

People were no longer just consumers of information, they started to produce these information.

The climax of internet usage can be seen during the previous Indonesian presidential election in 2014. Indonesians creatively and productively made various forms of information, ranging from text to video, from production to distribution, and they did it voluntarily, massively, structurally and independently. Indonesians have reached a position where they try to solve problems without any government assistance.

The technological growth especially in media in our society has driven us to expand the scope of the artistic medium used, not limited to only video, but also the scope of discussion on the arts of media itself. In the realm of Indonesian art, the discussion on video art has been completed and this was then followed by the urgency to develop it. With such reasons, we changed the festival from Jakarta International Video Festival to Indonesia Media Arts Festival.

Stabilizer by Reza Asung Afisina  Digital Print on Cotton Fabric & Video Installation  2015  Indonesia

Stabilizer by Reza Asung Afisina Digital Print on Cotton Fabric & Video Installation 2015 Indonesia

  • Orde Baru (New Order) is also the central theme of this year’s edition. In which way will this New Order be reflected in the festival?

Orde Baru has always been an issue in Indonesia. The theme of this year’s festival was inspired by the Soeharto’s Orde Baru – or military regime –, which lasted for 32 years (1966-1998). Orde Baru was borne in 1966 to distinguish themselves and separate power from Orde Lama led by Soekarno. This year’s festival coincides with the 50 years commemoration of the events of genocide due to the seizure of power in Indonesia back in 1965.

Departing from this theme, OK. Video tried to discuss the issue of historical and political media archive that was controlled by the government ruled in the analog era. In this digital era, however, it is being controlled by the corporation and has somehow influenced the development of the society, especially in Indonesia and other post-authoritarian countries. As we know, the end of the Cold War in the late ’80s had shifted the role of the state to the corporation. Sharing experiences and discussion of the issues is broken down into several programmes such as exhibitions, screenings, multimedia performances, symposium, discussions, and workshops. Further details of the festival’s statement can be seen on our website.

The crowd of the opening and a performance of Cut and Rescue (IDN) in collaboration with Genta Surya Choir

The crowd of the opening and a performance of Cut and Rescue (IDN) in collaboration with Genta Surya Choir

  • The festival had many different programmes to offer this year. Can you give us a brief overview of the highlights not to be missed?

It is the first time that OK. Video is presenting multimedia performances by music groups such as bequiet and brisik; Racun Kota, a multimedia performance by Contact Gonzo (Japan) that relates the physical body with analog technology; and a social and political symposium featuring members of an online journal to specifically discuss socio-political issues in Indonesia.

 

  •  Can you tell us more about the Fringe events and in particular the Media Arts, Technology, and the New Order Symposium?

The Symposium is one of the works of a group named IndoPROGRESS, a sociopolitical online journal managed by Indonesia’s young generation. The symposium invited several speakers to discuss how media technology in the New Order regime formed the Indonesian society. The symposium discussed the political strategy of media technology in the New Order regime and its relevance to the current media situation.

Another fringe event is the online exhibition showcasing the internet-meme trend in Indonesia. This online exhibition is curated by the young curator, Aditya Fachrizal Hafiz, and saw the appearances of some Indonesian artists known for using social media as their exhibition gallery. There is also an Open Lab programme which brought together four communities in Indonesia – lifepatch, WAFT Lab, Digital Nativ, and MakeDoNia – to discuss about the media and technology culture in the society, and to create various applications using the technology that is close to the society.

Updated information on the fringe events, including the recap and papers from speakers can be accessed on our website as well as on our social media channels.

 

A Keynote speech from Seno Gumira Ajidarma at the program Symposium

A Keynote speech from Seno Gumira Ajidarma at the program Symposium

How many artists did you welcome, and from which parts of the world?

In the end, we had 73 participating artists from 21 countries: South Africa, the United States, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, Colombia, South Korea, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, France, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam.


What about Ruangrupa? Can you share with us some of the other projects and initiatives that your artists have planned for this year?

In June 2016, Ruangrupa will be curating Sonsbeek Festival 2016 in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

 

Read more about the Festival:

http://culture360.asef.org/event/asef-culture360-media-partner-of-the-orde-baru-ok-video-indonesia-media-arts-festival/

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Athens: arts and culture in times of uncertaintyhttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/athens-arts-and-culture-in-times-of-uncertainty/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=athens-arts-and-culture-in-times-of-uncertainty http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/athens-arts-and-culture-in-times-of-uncertainty/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 02:32:59 +0000 Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio http://culture360.asef.org/?p=52909

If there is a country daily exposed in the international news today, that is, without a doubt, Greece.   Read More

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Debtocrazy Revolutions. ODC EnsembleVyrsodepseio. Photo by Mairi Zigouri

Debtocrazy Revolutions. ODC EnsembleVyrsodepseio. Photo by Mairi Zigouri

If there is a country daily exposed in the international news today, that is, without a doubt, Greece. The economic situation, the growing discontent among its citizens, the new political configurations and the tensions between the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the Greek government, have all surpassed the national context and now are part of an international case.

In a recent trip to the Greek capital, the city of Athens, I tried to understand the production, development and circulation of art and culture in “difficult times”. For that I met and talked to artists and professionals from cultural institutions, and I dipped in the atmosphere of the city today. If we exclude those central streets crossed by tourists, the Acropolis area and some spring nights in Gazi or Exarcheia, the general atmosphere of the city is definitely quite tense.

The economic crisis, which has evident effects on the daily life of the population, has certainly affected the art and cultural sector. At the same time, the points of view and perceptions regarding the vitality, the opportunities and the strength of the sector are quite discordant.

On one side, the cultural and artistic field have been ravaged by the savage cuts brought by a widespread depression. On the other side, the cultural and social life in the city of Athens seems to remain bright and effervescent. What are the reasons behind this apparent contradiction? From a certain point of view, the public funding in Greece has always been quite small and the sector is used to struggle to find the necessary funds to survive. According to some Athenians, the economic crisis has awakened, paradoxically, a sense of vitality, a rediscovered sense of relations, giving new and higher relevance to the social aspects of life. Other Athenians, nonetheless, perceive a deep depression in the sector, pointing at the example of many artists and cultural professionals who have migrated to other countries.

Vyrsodepseio

Vyrsodepseio

Beyond this interesting, mostly subjective and passionate debate, one thing is quite evident in contemporary Greece: art and culture are now taking a more social and political direction, working and reflecting on the consequences of the economic crisis.

One of the most powerful disciplines in Greece – from ancient times– is theatre. Several young as well as long standing theatre companies, a myriad of venues of different sizes, from big theatres to small spaces for performing arts, overflow the streets of the capital city. The low ticket prices – most of theatres have adopted a standard prize of 10 Euros for the main shows, while offering quite often free entrance to unemployed people – have ensured long queues at the doors of these spaces. The crisis, in this particular atmosphere, has become a sensitive topic and many companies have brought it to the stage.

The multidisciplinary project and performance P.I.G.S./Sotiria, directed by Marilli Mastrantoni and produced by Theatre Entropia, addresses the financial, political and social crisis in Southern Europe, through the impersonation of a series of stigmas and stereotypes that humiliate people of different countries under the present circumstances. As the director stated: “Amidst a global crisis with complex challenges and painful changes, Europe was severely affected by the Markets’ speculative attacks”.

P.I.G.S.  Sotiria. Theatre Entropia

P.I.G.S. Sotiria. Theatre Entropia

The ODC Ensemble, based at Vyrsodepseio (see below), is also producing several pieces and performances focused on the diverse aspects of the political, social and economic crisis. The role of gentrification and its effects on daily life in times of crisis constitute the main reflection behind the performance Re-volt Athens. The pieces DERMA/Skin – “a poetic metaphor for the current state of the Greek society into crisis” – and META – “a performance about the end of the world” – are also focusing on related aspects of the crisis, and find in the current situation, a powerful source of inspiration.

One of the most interesting spaces devoted to contemporary arts and creation in Athens is Vyrsodepseio/Tannery. VYRSO in short is a multi-stage space located in Votanikos, a “no man’s land” area in the centre of Athens, surrounded by abandoned factories and street dogs. Vyrsodepseio, formerly the largest tannery in the Balkans in the 19th century and declared cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, is a symbol of re-birth and struggle in the middle of the post-industrial crisis. As expressed in the webpage of the space, Vyrso is: “An experiment on how to produce art in “difficult times”, an evolving project of synergies and co-operations”. I had the opportunity to visit Vyrso with her director, Elli Papakonstantinou, breathing the energy of the space and noting the interested they have in bringing to the space both locals and foreigners. A programme of art residencies and a strategic interest in playing a key role for the international networking of Greek artists are other important aspects of Vyrsodepseio. Among other events, Vyrso hosted part of the “IETM Athens Plenary” in 2013, titled “Tomorrow”, when more than 500 programmers and artists visited the city.

Other important cultural infrastructures devoted to contemporary art in Athens – which are more rooted in the territory and go beyond the specificity of the “difficult times” – are the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the DESTE Foundation. Established in 2000, the National Museum still occupies the same provisional venue designated in 2002 although it will soon be relocated in the renovated facilities of the old Fix brewery. The DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, founded in 1983 by collector Dakis Joannou, is a non-profit institution devoted to the promotion of both emerging and established artists. DESTE presents several art exhibitions in its main space in Nea Ionia and in severalvenues around Athens. It isimportant to highlight its current collaboration with the Benaki Museum, “which aims to promote new and radical developments in contemporary art through a series of solo and group contemporary art exhibitions hosted at the museum”, as well as in its HYDRA space, located in the island of Hydra. One of the most interesting activities of the Foundation is the DESTE Prize, designed to support and promote young Greek artists.

DESTE’s building in Nea Ionia. Photo Panos Kokkinias

DESTE’s building in Nea Ionia. Photo Panos Kokkinias

Beyond these big spaces for contemporary art and the exciting scene of theatres and performing arts venues, Athens has also an interesting panorama of emerging alternative spaces run by artists and a number of galleries with a sparkling activity. Among other interesting activities, one worth mentioning is the Athens Art Residency organized by Kappatos Gallery; a project launched in 2013 to promote artistic research and production through the international exchange of practice and knowledge.

The Athens Biennale (the last one held in 2013 under the title of AGORA, aimed at creating a critical reflection and a space for exchange and debate) together with several international projects like the SEAAA Mobility Alliance or Kathréptis (a gathering to reflect on the cultural life of cities), complete a picture of a capital city currently in a state of transformation.

If on one side, the economic and social crisis represent, no doubt, a terrible moment of distress and poses serious challenges, on the other side, Greece is again the central argument in the international scenario, awakening the interest of a wide and international audience.

The artistic and cultural activities in Greece are living through an ambiguous, hybrid and ambivalent period: while the Ministry of Culture declares they have zero budget, new models and new formats are being explored, all of which are creating a sense of change, vitality and effervescence in the artists’ community. The difficulties are real and tangible: several art and cultural professionals have already migrated, and the marginality of the sector is a constant threat. The response of the sector requires today a special effort and a deep critical reflection in order to understand both the role of arts and culture in the local society, as well as the impact and contribution of international projects and collaborations.

 

Useful Links:

 

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio holds a European PhD in “Art History, Theory and Criticism” from the University of Barcelona. He is faculty at Transart Institute (NY-Berlin) and Post-Doctoral Visiting Researcher at United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM). His researches involve the subjects of intercultural processes, globalization and mobility in contemporary art and cultural policies, the interactions between artistic, educational, media and cultural practices in the Mediterranean and the cultural cooperation between Asia and Europe. He has participated in several international conferences and developed projects and research residencies in Europe, Asia, USA and the Middle East. As an art critic and independent curator he writes extensively for several international magazines. He is Editorial contributor at Culture360 – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Managing Editor at ELSE – Transart Institute, and co-founder of the Platform for Contemporary Art and Thought, InterArtive. 

 

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Curating Batik collections in Asia and Europehttp://culture360.asef.org/asef-news/curating-batik-collections-in-asia-and-europe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=curating-batik-collections-in-asia-and-europe http://culture360.asef.org/asef-news/curating-batik-collections-in-asia-and-europe/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 03:27:45 +0000 Sasiwimon Wongjarin http://culture360.asef.org/?p=52883

The Curating Batik event in Jakarta marks the first of several activities being organised as part of a study of Batik collections in selected museums in Asia and Europe, towards the set-up of a permanent Batik gallery at the Weltmuseum Wien in Vienna, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation and will re-open in 2017.   Read More

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Batik experts and Batik Lovers during sharing session during break time

Batik experts and Batik lovers during sharing session during break time

“We were excited to share the passion on our Batik collection in Indonesia.  At the same time, we felt very nervous because Batik is an integral part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage and people’s everyday life.”

This was the shared impression museum curators and Batik experts had at the Curating Batik workshop, organised at Museum Tekstil Jakarta in Indonesia on 3 June 2015 and attended by more than 50 Batik experts and Batik lovers.

The Curating Batik event in Jakarta marks the first of several activities being organised as part of a study of Batik collections in selected museums in Asia and Europe, towards the set-up of a permanent Batik gallery at the Weltmuseum Wien in Vienna, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation and will re-open in 2017. Participating museums include the Weltmuseum Wien (Austria), Museum Tekstil Jakarta (Indonesia), Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures (Czech Republic) and Museum der Kulturen Basel (Switzerland). These museums are members of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS), a network of over 100 Asian and European museums supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) since the year 2000. Through the ASEMUS platform, curators from the above-mentioned museums met and discussed their respective collections. The more they compared and shared, the more they learnt about  from each other’s collection and the areas in which they could benefit from each other’s expertise. The result is the Curating Batik project. This year, curators from Austria, Czech Republic, Indonesia and Switzerland have planned to meet for a series of workshops and study visits to exchange ideas and visit Batik collections towards giving inputs to the shaping of the Batik gallery at the Weltmuseum Wien.

The event in Indonesia in June 2015 marked the first step in this process. It included public lectures, workshops, gallery visits and field visits to Pekalongan, Lasem and Solo in middle Java in Indonesia.

Benny Gratha, Voluntary Curatorial Assistant at Museum Tekstil Jakarta explained about batik motifs to the other curators

Benny Gratha, Voluntary Curatorial Assistant at Museum Tekstil Jakarta explains batik motifs to the other curators

Curating Batik is a concrete example of the impact of networks that the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) promotes; the idea of connecting people, sharing knowledge, exchanging information, and building partnerships. Curating Batik was selected through the 2nd edition of ASEF Creative Networks, an ASEF initiative that encourages collaborations among networks in order to reinforce the dialogue between cultural professionals from Asia and Europe.

At the Curating Batik workshop in Jakarta earlier this month, Dr. Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo, Curator of Insular Southeast Asia, Weltmuseum Wien mentioned that her museum has almost 300 pieces of Batik: ‘The first collection is a souvenir from the Novara Expedition (1857–1859), the first large-scale scientific, around-the-world mission of the Austrian Imperial war navy. The acquisition from Java entered the museum in 1858. Therefore, it is considered ‘very old [Batik] material. The British Museum owns an older fabric from Governor General Raffles dated back around 1820.’  Dr. Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo also added that it made sense to collaborate with the Náprstek Museum in the Czech Republic for their shared connection ofthe Austro-Hungarian expedition around the world [that] lasted from 1857 to 1859 in which in 15 – 21 April 1858 was in Singapore and 5 – 29 May 1858 was in Batavia. Scientists who participated in the expedition were Dr. Novara Karl von Scherzer (Anthropologist) and Dr Hochstetter (Geologist/the first Director of the Museum of Natural History Vienna).”

Dr. Richard Kunz, Curator of Southeast Asia, Museum der Kulturen Basel, Switzerland, mentioned the Swiss-Indonesian connections in Batik during his presentation. Although his museum has a small number of Batik textiles, it also has interesting Batik tools and process samples, as well as great samples of Batik imitation. So the challenge for him would be the approach to curating the collection. ‘What is a potential of the collection? What story lines can be developed? What message do we want to convey with an exhibit?’ ‘Indonesia, most particularly the island of Java, is the area where batik has reached the greatest peak of accomplishment. The Dutch brought Indonesian craftsmen to teach the craft to Dutch warders in several factories in Holland from 1835. Factory work in Switzerland begun in the Valley of Glarus in the 18th century by imitating fabrics from the Orient and Far-East. The Swiss produced imitation batik in the early 1940s. A wax block form of printing was developed in Java using a cap.’

 

Presentation and discussion by curators from Museum der Kulturen Basel, Tekstil Museum Jakarta and Weltmuseum Wien

Presentation and discussion by curators from Museum der Kulturen Basel, Tekstil Museum Jakarta and Weltmuseum Wien

The collaboration with Museum Tekstil Jakarta has provided the curators opportunities to explore the museum’s rich collection and exchange information. Benny Gratha, a loyal volunteer at Museum Tekstil Jakarta since 2005, has been serving as an informal curatorial assistant at the museum. Through these years, he has built up extensive knowledge on Batik through ‘Museum Tekstil Jakarta’s permanent collection which is one of the most comprehensive collections in the world of a broad range of Indonesian textiles including warp and weft ikat cloths, batik, embroideries, beadwork and multifarious appliqué techniques, tapestry weaves, supplementary warp and weft textiles and from all over the Indonesian Archipelago. The Museum continues to grow and develop to respond to the needs of its visitors. Periodically throughout the year, it cooperates with private collectors and various institutions in holding short thematic shows in between its regular displays.

During their field trip in Indonesia, the curators will undertake field research and documentation towards their exhibition. Dr. Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo will be travelling with Dr. Hwie Liong Kwan, Independent Batik Expert, to the middle of Java (Pekalongan, Lasem, Solo) to document batik production, and interview batik producers. In the last decade, Dr. Kwan has been studying Batik in his hometown and encouraging the local community to preserve the technique as part of creative economies.

He said, “The city of Pekalongan itself is known for its distinct Batik Pesisir or Coastal Batik which features vibrant colours and patterns. The batik produced by the skilled artisans here reflects multi-cultural influences from Chinese, Dutch, Malay, Japan, the Indies and Arab nations. The beauty of batik made in Pekaolongan has been recognized throughout the world.

Dr. Kwan believes in the importance of raising awareness among the locals to cherish their heritage and preserve it. The best way to do this is to prove the impact of creative workers on regional unemployment. He has also been organising workshops for local artisans, organising a platform for exchange, and featuring their beautiful crafts.

The support from ASEF under the ASEF Creative Networks 2nd edition enables the curators from Indonesia to travel to Austria, Indonesia, Czech Republic and Switzerland. There, the curators will take on residencies and study as well as identify the Batik collection in each museum. They will also share their extensive knowledge through a number of workshops. Moreover, they will provide consultation on the selection of artefacts for the permanent Batik collection at Weltmuseum Wien which is due to open in late 2017, and the upcoming exhibition at Museum Der Kulturen Basel in 2016. The curators from both museums are open to the idea of collaboration, co-research and co-funding, and are willing to hold further discussions for potential collaboration.
More information:

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A second life for industrial heritage sites in Europehttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/a-second-life-for-industrial-heritage-sites-in-europe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-second-life-for-industrial-heritage-sites-in-europe http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/a-second-life-for-industrial-heritage-sites-in-europe/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 04:53:23 +0000 Florent Petit http://culture360.asef.org/?p=52539

  ASEF culture360 contributor Florent Petit tells us how the re-use of industrial heritages sites for cultural activities helps reinvigorate European cities and complete urban regeneration policies. Since the...  Read More

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collage

 

ASEF culture360 contributor Florent Petit tells us how the re-use of industrial heritages sites for cultural activities helps reinvigorate European cities and complete urban regeneration policies.

Since the beginning of the seventies, the drastic decline that some entire branches of the European industry had to suffer (and are still suffering today) has, among many societal and economic consequences, left vacant a significant number of buildings, production sites and former working places, with some of them entirely abandoned. This phenomenon is visible in many cities and towns across the continent and soon appeared a will to revive, enliven and rejuvenate some of these sites.

The idea to turn some of them into multipurpose and cross-disciplinary cultural centres has developed across Europe, with the hope to see culture work as an efficient tool, allowing wide sites and their surroundings to enjoy a new input and get back on the scene. Some of these projects have also been included in wider urbanisation renewal projects led by cities in order to improve living conditions and, broadly speaking, their image.

This trend, quite representative of the European cultural development in the last three decades, has often been questioned through different kinds of criticism such as:

  • Turning these places into art or leisure venues is viewed as a lack of respect for the memory of those who have been working there, sometimes for decades;
  • These projects are often caught in a controversy regarding their financial cost;
  • It is feared that they may set off some kind of elitist, upper class cultural places in working class areas, thus creating a gap between those visiting and using the venue, and those living around it;
  • These urban projects are inaugurating a gentrification process, eventually forcing local populations that were originally supposed to benefit from the development of the structure, to leave their place for good and settle in more remote areas with more affordable real estate prices;
  • Once a structure is open, a debate arouses on the costs involved and if that should be done with public funding.

The discussion is still on-going and gets attention in the news whenever the future of emblematic or famous industrial/working places is at stake, the controversy on the future of the Battersea Power Station in London is an example of this.

The following spaces show that most of the projects are public-orientated, and prove, if needed, that considering the geographical and urban environment of European cities, culture is one of the most effective tools to revitalise entire urban areas and give them a second chance:

 

Matadero, Madrid, Spain (Date of opening: 2006)

Matadero - Plaza Matadero

Matadero – Plaza Matadero

Matadero is a vast complex situated in the southern part of Madrid, just by the Manzanares River. Formerly a slaughterhouse and meat market, it was inaugurated in 1924 and remains today a remarkable example of industrial architecture in the Spanish capital. The process to turn the place into one of the most dynamic art venues of the country started in 2006, with the support of Madrid City Office, coupled with a larger renovation project of the banks of the Manzanares River in order to turn them into parks and promenades (Madrid Rio).

Today Matadero is hosting in the same complex, a structure dedicated to literature and books (Casa del Lector), a design centre (Central de Diseno), a film library entirely dedicated to documentary and non-fiction features (Cineteca), a contemporary art centre (Nave 16) and a theatre (Naves del Español).

The centre also organises residencies, provides grants for artists and shelters a creative incubator and hub (Factoria Cultural) for structures working in the fields of technology, communication and the arts.

Ten years after its opening, Matadero is a genuine success, open to all kind of artistic expressions, and inclusive of all audiences, drawing people from afar.

http://www.mataderomadrid.org/

 

104, Paris, France (Date of opening: 2008)

104 - Keith Haring exhibition

104 – Keith Haring exhibition

The 104 in Paris has, in a way, a similar story as it enjoys strong official support from local authorities (Paris City Office). This cross-disciplinary art centre found its place in a former funeral hall built at the end of 19th century. The centre is located in the north-eastern part of the French capital, a working class area that was so far out of the culture map.

The centre welcomes various programmes of dance, theatre, music, cinema and visual arts, with most events created and produced by artists welcomed in long-haul residences. An important part of the initiatives launched there aims to include neighbouring inhabitants in the making process of activities and the place stands for being a laboratory for ideas, innovation and collaborative experiments when it deals with the making of cultural programmes.

http://www.104.fr/

 

Grand Hornu, Hornu, Belgium (Date of opening: 2002)

Grand Hornu

Grand Hornu

The Grand-Hornu is a former mine pit located near the town of Mons, in Wallonia (the French speaking, southern part of Belgium). This vast industrial site, spanning over ten thousand square meters, was built in the beginning of the 19th century. In the mid-fifties, the site closed down and then started a long period of uncertainty regarding its future: the precincts were abandoned and their destruction planned. In the 80’s, the site became the property of the Hainaut province. The support of this public entity, combined with the one of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, boosted the place into new heights, peaking with the recognition of the Grand-Hornu as a World heritage site by the UNESCO in 2012.

Today, the premises gather institutions whose ambition is to foster the encounter of the largest audience with industrial heritage and the most contemporary aspects of creation, with a museum of contemporary arts (MAC’s) and the CID, Centre d’Innovation et de Design, which aims to promote and illustrate new trends in design, architecture and graphics through exhibitions and mediation programmes.

What was once one of the most important industrial sites of Belgium, fallen into decay, the Grand Hornu is today one of the most remarkable cultural hub of contemporary Belgium.

http://www.grand-hornu.eu/

 

Wuk, Vienna, Austria (Date of opening: 1981)

Wuk

Wuk

Wuk is a former locomotive factory opened in 1855 and settled in the north of the Austrian capital, just nearby the Volskoper. It was turned into a cultural place in the very beginning of the 80’s, being squatted by a group of activists after having fallen in a state of decay.

Wuk stands for a social approach, promoting an inclusive vision of culture, and clearly poses itself as a tool for the surrounding community to create wellness and social links. It proposes a rich programme of live music, performing arts and has a Kunsthalle dedicated to contemporary art. It places emphasis on programmes for children and the elderly, the mission of social gathering of cultural programmes, and the presentation of independent art scenes.

The place plays its role of a home for varied forms of creation proposing long-term residences and workshops, and renting ateliers or rehearsal rooms.

http://www.wuk.at/

 

Kaapeli, Helsinki, Finland (Date of opening: 1991)

 

Kaapeli

Kaapeli

Kaapeli is a former cable factory completed in 1954. It has been for at least four decades a production site for Nokia Corporation. It is located by the seashore in the western district of Sallmisari. The city of Helsinki owns the place that now functions as a multimodal cultural centre. It houses three museums, twelve galleries, theatres, arts schools and provides spaces for artists, creative industries companies and music bands. It hosts a vast range of structures representing almost all artistic disciplines, such as the Centre for New Dance, design agencies, records labels, a museum of theatre, the Institut français in Finland, The Finnish Museum of photography and many more features, forming a genuine creative hub with impressive dimensions.

The city of Helsinki has made the decision to unfold a new venue in the Eastern part of town (Kalasatama district), turning step by step the impressive Suvilahti power plant, which provided gas and electricity to the city during a century, into an artistic centre around the themes of circus, architecture and open-air music events in close connection with this mission. The place is now the home of the biggest circus school in Finland. The Suvilahti cultural centre is part of a wider renovation project for the entire Kalasatama area, where a plan to turn a 1930’s red brick abattoir into a centre for food culture is currently in the making.

http://www.kaapelitehdas.fi/
http://www.suvilahti.fi/

One of the note-worthy points among all these initiatives is that most of them benefited from a strong municipal and regional support, but more than this, their success relies on several common features:

  • A close integration of the will and expectations of neighbouring people in the making process (bottom-up approach);
  • A plurality of disciplines and activities (visual and performing arts, learning and training structures…) all in one site;
  • A vast range of free activities;
  • The creation of conviviality spaces (bars, restaurants, shops…);
  • The will to open wide the structure on public space, as a prolongation of streets;
  • The necessity to provoke a shift and create a more equal geographic balance, creating new poles of cultures outside the heart of cities or traditional cultural districts (such as the Paseo del Arte in Madrid, the banks of the Seine in downtown Paris or the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna);
  • The possibility to show art programmes, concerts, exhibitions, etc. in non-conventional places, thus giving new dimensions, wider spaces and new possibilities and perspectives to artistic expression;
  • The desire to be more than a mere showcasing venue, but a genuine place for creation and experiments, welcoming artists on residence for long-term periods;
  • The inclusion of locals and non-professionals in the daily life of the place,
  • Leaving room for inhabitants to use the place for citizenship initiatives;
  • Breaking off the image of culture as something elitist or highbrow, by putting the social interest of cultural activities in the foreground;
  • Trying to blur, or even tear down, all kind of boundaries between artistic fields and practices;
  • Bearing a strong international dimension in their programmes and activities;
  • Being part of multi-layered projects of renovation for whole cities.

The future of industrial heritage is a challenge common to many cities scattered across Europe and beyond. Culture is definitely a valid option to give this heritage a new chance and sometimes initiate a real “resurrection” not only for the building but for the whole urban areas around it. The ultimate reason to live and grow for these places is to be lived and enjoyed by the citizens.

Other interesting sites in Europe:

Florent Petit is a former project officer in the cultural unit of the French Embassy in Japan. He holds a Master’s degree in Art History from the Sorbonne University in Paris and in International Relations from the Institute of Political Studies of Lyon. Former lecturer of Chinese, Korean and Japanese art in the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, he has occupied several curatorial positions in museums in France (Asian Unit of the Musée du quai Branly, Paris) and Luxembourg (Mudam, Museum of contemporary art, Luxembourg City). 

 

 

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On worldmaking, new empires, and Philippine art | One on one with Patrick Floreshttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/on-worldmaking-new-empires-and-philippine-art-one-on-one-with-patrick-flores/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=on-worldmaking-new-empires-and-philippine-art-one-on-one-with-patrick-flores http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/on-worldmaking-new-empires-and-philippine-art-one-on-one-with-patrick-flores/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 02:00:02 +0000 culture360.org http://culture360.asef.org/?p=52071

Art historian Patrick Flores takes us on a tour of the Philippine Pavilion, Tie A String Around the World, in this year’s Venice Biennale.  Read More

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Contributed by Lai del Rosario

Art historian Patrick Flores takes us on a tour of the Philippine Pavilion, Tie A String Around the World, in this year’s Venice Biennale. The exhibition takes off from Genghis Khan, a film created by Filipino director Manuel Conde, which screened at the Venice Film Festival in 1952. Conde’s work would then go on to gain global recognition as a cinematic landmark. The movie provokes thoughts on how modern empires are made, and reflects Filipino creativity, modernity, and cultural ambiguity. Similar elements can be found in the works of more contemporary artists showing at the Pavilion, namely filmmaker Manny Montelibano and multimedia artist Jose Tence Ruiz. Flores also reveals the challenges and complexities of putting up such a project, and his views on developing Philippine art. Tie A String Around the World is on view now at the Palazzo Mora in Venice and open to the public until 22 November 2015.

Curator Patrick Flores

Curator Patrick Flores

 

“I wanted to show that the Philippines was in the world and we are not coming into Venice as if it were the first time for us to be in this context,” curator Patrick Flores explains, referring to the Philippine Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, which opened to the public last 9 May. Entitled Tie A String Around the World, the Pavilion is a comeback of sorts for the country, having last joined the Biennale 51 years ago.

Patrick Flores, also an art historian and curator of the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, has turned to the classic Filipino film, Genghis Khan, for inspiration. Created in 1950 by Manuel Conde on a shoestring budget, the movie was screened at the Venice Film Festival in 1952 before it went on to gain global recognition as a cinematic landmark. It tells the tale of a young Genghis Khan, who, at the end of the film, promises his beloved that he would “tie a string around the world” and lay it at her feet, alluding to an empire he had yet to build. The story brings forward thoughts on worldmaking – how countries or empires are built through the creation of boundaries and limits. The theme led Flores to the issue of territorial disputes, particularly the case of the Philippines and China on the South China Sea. “The claim over the South China Sea is important. It is common patrimony, but if a superpower would like to claim almost 80 percent of it, that tells us something,” he remarks.

Putting up the Philippine Pavilion after 51 years did not come without challenges. Read on as contributor Lai del Rosario asks Flores about the lessons learned, the relevance of the project, and his views on developing Philippine art.

 

LDR: How did you decide to choose Genghis Khan as a take-off point for the exhibition?

PF: Our participation was a return so I wanted to include something that had already gone to Venice. Genghis Khan was in the Venice Film Festival in 1952. It was also screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York in the same year and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1981. For me, the film is something that at the outset will surmount the local-global dichotomy. It was indeed something to be able to produce such a work without prior models. At the same time, it presented a fascination with history and fantasy. There was a sense of ‘the other world’ in Genghis Khan, such as Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. My idea was a tribute to the culture that was able to make such a filmic proposition. The story also offers something on worldmaking, one of the Pavilion’s themes.

 

 

“Genghis Khan”, film still, Manuel Conde (1950). Photo by Emmanuel Rojas

“Genghis Khan”, film still, Manuel Conde (1950). Photo by Emmanuel Rojas

 

LDR: What can we expect to see at the Pavilion?

PF: I wanted to show that the Philippines was in the world and we are not coming into Venice as if it were the first time for us to be in this context. I am using Genghis Khan as a trajectory because it was a seminal film. In fact it was the first film ever on Genghis Khan, and it was produced in the Philippines. It was a very precocious effort on the part of its Filipino filmmaker, Manuel Conde, to aspire to produce such a work, together with Carlos Francisco, co-writer and production designer. The film has been newly restored and will be shown on a loop at the Pavilion.

Another work is a film by Manny Montelibano, which is largely about Bataraza, a municipality in Palawan – the gateway to the South China Sea and Borneo. Montelibano’s work is a sound and video installation and relies heavily on an oral epic in the region. This epic is then disturbed by Chinese radio frequency, the point being that the encroachment of China is pervasive through sound.

 

“A Dashed State” (2015), Manny Montelibano, 3-channel video. Photo by Lai del Rosario.

“A Dashed State” (2015), Manny Montelibano, 3-channel video. Photo by Lai del Rosario.

 

Another installation, “Shoal,” by Jose Tence Ruiz is based on the ship, BRP Sierra Madre, the Philippines’ marine headquarters tasked to assert Philippine sovereignty amidst the country’s territorial dispute with China. The ship was given to the government by the United States after the Vietnam War in the 1970s. It looks pathetic, almost like a ruin, and Ruiz’s work references this. His installation is a ship but it could also be a church because of the spires. It is ambiguous – it is both bricolage and Baroque.

 

“Shoal” (2015), Jose Tence Ruiz, installation. Photo by Lai del Rosario.

“Shoal” (2015), Jose Tence Ruiz, installation. Photo by Lai del Rosario

 

LDR: What do you hope to achieve in this exhibition?

PF: I would like to invest in an extensive, discursive possibility through the Pavilion. It is a difficult and expensive project to set up. The budget was secured during the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) tragedy, so I think we owe it to the country to spend the money very well by creating as many possibilities around the Pavilion as we can. Through it, we hope to maximize publicity, generate attention on the Philippines, and consequently stimulate interest in Philippine art and art history.

Additionally, I wanted to converse with the Biennale’s theme, “All the World’s Cultures,” as conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor. It is a political proposition that I would like our country to be part of.

LDR: Do you think it is a good thing that the Philippines is participating in the Biennale at this point in time?

PF: In a way, yes. I am not really a fan of participating in Biennales but it is already there and I understand why some people would want to. I would like to make the most of it by learning from the processes involved, such as the project selection process, logistics, or how to work with the Philippine government and the Biennale. For me, the Biennale is a platform and I do not believe in a hierarchy of platforms as each one has its own requirements, limitations, and potential. What I do as the curator of Vargas Museum is just as important as what I do in Venice. At the same time, the Biennale is a global platform where people will take notice of who we are, so it is also good. But I think there are other ways of developing the local art scene – grassroots and local initiatives are equally important. All these platforms address different concerns.

LDR: How do you think the world will view the Philippines through the Pavilion?

PF: Good question, and it is difficult to calculate. I want people to view the Philippines as having a very strong modernity that was able to mediate the world in very eccentric, idiosyncratic ways. For instance, the critics were confounded by Genghis Khan. They did not really know how to make sense of the film. They thought it was nice enough to be shown abroad and translated in 16 languages. But when I look at the reviews, critics thought it was clumsy, awkward. The editing was not up to par and there were things they could not seem to appreciate but felt were good. It was irresistible for them and they could not not show it. Once the film showed, people took notice – Hollywood, Venice, Europe and America. That means something.

I would like the world to view the Philippines as something imagined from that modernity and with contemporary artists like Montelibano and Ruiz also responding equivalently. To an extent, the history of Philippine art was built on that – that kind of eccentricity, idiosyncrasy, and difficulty to pin down. Of course, I fear that the film will not survive the translation and might not be understood, but this difficulty is part of it.

The Philippine Pavilion is located at the second floor of the European Cultural Centre – Palazzo Mora and is open to the public from 9 May to 22 November 2015. The Philippine Pavilion is commissioned by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.

 

Further readings

 

Lai del Rosario is an art manager and freelance writer with a keen interest in European-Asian artistic collaborations, having lived and worked in Switzerland, France, and the Philippines. She is also currently developing an online platform that promotes creative spaces in cities.

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Immersion as curatorial practice | Southeast Asian curators experience Sloveniahttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/immersion-as-curatorial-practice-southeast-asian-curators-in-slovenia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=immersion-as-curatorial-practice-southeast-asian-curators-in-slovenia http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/immersion-as-curatorial-practice-southeast-asian-curators-in-slovenia/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 02:00:03 +0000 culture360.org http://culture360.asef.org/?p=51800

The first phase of Curating-In-Depth provided an immersion in Slovenia for six curators from Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore.   Read More

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Contributed by Sidd Perez

The first phase of Curating-In-Depth, a project by SCCA – Ljubljana and Planting Rice, provided an immersion in Slovenia for six curators from Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore. In this comprehensive exchange, similar curatorial goals were identified and the differences in context encouraged a deeper enquiry into matters of infrastructural support in arts and culture between these two regions and how art navigates through society.

 

Curator's walk-through with Marko Jenko in the exhibition 20th Century. Continuities and Raptures (Moderna Galerija/ Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Curator’s walk-through with Marko Jenko in the exhibition 20th Century. Continuities and Raptures (Moderna Galerija/ Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

 

Curating-In-Depth is one of the three projects supported in the 4th edition of Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe programmed by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) and with the support of Trans Europe Halle (TEH). It is an incubator project aimed towards the development of curatorial exchange brought together by two non-governmental institutions in Slovenia and the Philippines, namely SCCA, Centre for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana and Planting Rice. Curating-In-Depth conducts this exchange through immersive programmes in both the cultural communities of Ljubljana in Slovenia and Manila in the Philippines from May to August 2015, and aims to sustain these initial engagements through a shared network platform and e-publication of materials produced and referenced in the project.

 

"From Elsewhere 2: Curatorial Practices and Artistic Positions" (SCCA Ljubljana Project Room)

“From Elsewhere 2: Curatorial Practices and Artistic Positions” (SCCA Ljubljana Project Room, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

 

The project was conceived in the shared interest of SCCA Centre for Contemporary Art – Ljubljana and Planting Rice in curatorial practices as alternative systems of knowledge production. Acquainted in a meeting on cultural mobility among Asian and European organizations initiated by the cultural mobility network On the Move in 2014, the partners of Curating-In-Depth recognized similar approaches of their art communities in dealing with the absence or down scaling of infrastructural support. The aspect of the curatorial as the contemporary vehicle for recovering cultural values, elevating critical education in art production and mobilizing discourse in an expanding network is also a crucial point of convergence for the partners in putting together Curating-In-Depth.

 

Preview of Borga Kantürk's solo exhibition Memory Research Office: Collect.Cut.Create.Re Create (Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Preview of Borga Kantürk’s solo exhibition Memory Research Office: Collect.Cut.Create.Re Create (Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

 

The main activity termed as “curatorial mapping” is two-fold: Southeast Asian curators are to spend time in Slovenia, mainly in Ljubljana while the curators from SCCA Centre for Contemporary Art – Ljubljana and Kurziv Croatia will likewise immerse in the Manila art community. Programmed as a two-week long excursion in both cities, the curatorial mapping involves introductions to stakeholders that move artistic communities and develops events that would allow discussions and networking opportunities among those who are involved in the programme. The first phase of Curating-In-Depth unfolded in Slovenia from 3 – 16 May 2015 with an extensive agenda generated by SCCA Centre for Contemporary Art – Ljubljana for the definitive engagement of six curators from the Philippines, Singapore and Myanmar with SCCA’s primary networks in the Slovene cities of Ljubljana, Celje and Maribor as well as in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

Tour of Transnational Guerilla Art School with Miha Horvat. (Maribor, Slovenia)

Tour of Transnational Guerilla Art School with Miha Horvat. (Maribor, Slovenia)

 

The thirteen-day excursion included meetings with curators and directors of museums, art galleries, foundations and other art sites – building up a thorough survey of models through which such art institutions operate on the national, non-government and independent levels. The thrust of the curatorial is presented in the response of these sites to the historical transitions from a region that is formerly Yugoslavia to independent states vis-a-vis the recent diminishing of the funding pool for culture and the arts. This is manifested in the posturing in which institutions take, be it a museum such as the Moderna galerija that resists the postmodern spectacle of art production and simultaneously explores a subversive stance in incorporating peripheral narratives which were communicated in the walk-through of the exhibition 20th Century . Continuities and Rapture with curator Marko Jenko. It is also expressed in the practice of current artist director of City Art Gallery Alenka Gregorič as she instigates professionalisation of the labour of art workers as part of the programming where exhibition production requires necessary benefits as that of standard employment. The framework of mutual benefit in self-organisation is also manifested in Transnational Guerilla Art School, Maribor, initiated by Foundacion Sonda, where currency takes the form of activating a “free” space beyond the common notion of studio residencies. Collectives that need a more permanent and physical site for their activities could make use of this venue insofar as they remain accessible platforms in which other practitioners from the community can benefit from.

 

The Others View exhibition evaluation in Skuc Gallery (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

The Others View exhibition evaluation in Skuc Gallery (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

The primary itinerary contained privileged surveys into the overall structure of the Slovene scene. The other end of this programme introduced the practice of the visiting curators whose practices were based in Southeast Asia. Antares Bartolome (Philippines), Isabel Ching (Singapore), Kenneth Paranada (Philippines), Moe Satt (Myanmar), Shireen Seno (Philippines) and I presented our individual practices and main areas of curatorial research in two events – one with SCCA World of Art Students, and the other at a public symposium. It is through these presentations that we fleshed out the shared impetus to develop a practice of accountability in intercultural exchanges by identifying together as practitioners in Asia and Europe, the similarities and differences that would aid the understanding of each other’s contexts. Motivations and persuasions were identified in the face of encountering degrees of state support: why do we persist as cultural operators in spite of funding cuts (as with Europe) or the lack of funding at all (Southeast Asia)? Likewise, curatorial perspective on the audience differed – how do exhibitions turn out in the comfort of a predictable local context or in the anticipation of an invisible, international audience? On the same breath these discussions sympathized with how both communities are driven to go beyond inherited systems such as national education and cultural agenda, and provided insights on how both communities deal with the debris of the broken promises of democracy and socialism, and inevitably navigate around the pressures of capitalism.

 

Tour of Transnational Guerilla Art School with Miha Horvat. (Maribor, Slovenia)

Tour of Transnational Guerilla Art School with Miha Horvat. (Maribor, Slovenia)

The first phase of Curating-In-Depth followed a comprehensive itinerary which also allowed informal spaces of dialogue that produced an initial entry into an awareness of intercultural dialogue, particularly between European and Asian perspectives. It concluded that open-ended possibilities are much more grounded and critical than the idea of parachuting into a community and curating it according to the milieu we are based in. The second phase continues in Manila, Philippines from 28 July – 8 August 2015.

Watch the video presentations of the curators:

 

For more information about Curating In Depth:

 

Sidd Perez is a curator and art writer based between Manila and Singapore.

 

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How can creative freelancers make the most of social media?http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/how-can-creative-freelancers-make-the-most-of-social-media/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-can-creative-freelancers-make-the-most-of-social-media http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/how-can-creative-freelancers-make-the-most-of-social-media/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:00:04 +0000 Claire Wilson http://culture360.asef.org/?p=51533

  Throughout 2015, culture360 contributor Claire Rosslyn Wilson will explore freelancing in the creative industries in Asia and Europe. Each article will look at an aspect of running a creative business,...  Read More

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Freelance writer Benjamin Law – ©2012 Paul Harris

 

Throughout 2015, culture360 contributor Claire Rosslyn Wilson will explore freelancing in the creative industries in Asia and Europe. Each article will look at an aspect of running a creative business, talking to freelancers to gain an insight of how they face common challenges.

 

In a context where online technologies have become a vital part of daily work, social media platforms have become increasingly influential. Used to build networks, get jobs, publicise or even exhibit work, these platforms provide easy-to-use tools that creative freelancers can take advantage of. This article will look at potential benefits of social media, followed by a look at how freelance writer Benjamin Law makes the most of his Twitter profile.

 

The rise of online technologies

There has been an unmistakable rise in the use of online technologies, but it has not increased equally across the world. Although the average internet use in the European Union is 75 out of every 100 people, there are still over five billion people who have never used the internet.[1]

 

 

Source: World Bank, 2013,  http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2

Source: World Bank, 2013

Source: World Bank, 2013,  http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2

This inequality of access is particularly concerning as information and communication technologies become ever more pervasive in daily life.

 

2

Source: World Bank, 2013

Source: World Bank, 2013,  http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2

 

In spite of this concerning picture, there are four areas of opportunity due to the rise in online technologies in developing and developed countries alike[2]:

  1. Capitalising on the potential speed and cheap access to technologies
  2. The democratic access that could alter the top-down approach to interaction and knowledge production
  3. The drastic increase in mobile technologies and the rise of citizen journalism
  4. Social networks that allow information to be shared by anyone across the globe almost instantaneously.

These four points are also relevant for creative freelancers who are often working outside institutional structures with sometimes limited resources.

A chance to reach out directly to audiences

Communication technologies can enable individuals to reach out directly with their audiences, no matter where they are located geographically. As highlighted by media theorist Joe Karaganis:

Digital technologies are powerful forces of deterritorialisation – of disembedding knowledge and culture from existing institutions, practices and geographies – but they are also tools of continuous social and political reterritorialization as borders are redrawn, new institutions and structures emerge, and new forms of control are established.’[3]

This changing of boundaries is one of the areas of opportunity of social media, allowing creative freelancers to look beyond their own city for networks and opportunities. The more offices encouraging flexible work-spaces, working online is becoming more common.

As people are increasingly involved in the creation of online content through easy-to-use tools, the distinctions blur between the roles of producers, distributors and consumers. Media theorists Li and Bernoff analyse this changing landscape in their study on the “goundswell”. They define the groundswell as a social context where people increasingly use ‘technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations’.[4]

Social media technologies are characterised by participation and interactivity. Social media theorist Howard states that ‘participatory media shift the emphasis from the consumption of monologic discourse often associated with old media to the interactive, modular, and coproduced discourse associated with face-to-face communication’.[5] This indicates that not only are individuals able to communicate without going through centralised gatekeepers, but that the way they communicate online is changing. Instead of one-way information distribution to publicise events, social media encourages direct feedback from the audience. This is now a feature that people expect when communicating on social media – individuals and institutions now share the same online space.

These trends of breaking down international barriers, sharing information between peers without going through traditional gatekeepers and the increased element of participation are good news for creative freelancers. But how exactly does this work when there is so much competing information available?

 

Which one is the best?

Firstly, how many people are actually using social media? To give some context of the users of social media in Australia, a country with above average access to the internet, let’s look at the number of unique visitors to social media sites over the month of March.

3

Source: SocialMediaNews.com.au, March 2015

Source: Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for March 2015

Facebook and YouTube clearly top the list, but this doesn’t mean that creative freelancers need to create 10 different accounts. A big factor in choosing social media sites to promote creative work is to find ones that individual artists are comfortable using and ones that suit their practice. Obviously Instagram and Flickr are great for artists with a visual practice while YouTube is awash with music and short films documenting the creative process. But in contrast, despite its widespread use some artists are wary of using Facebook for their practice as they see it as a more personal space where they communicate with friends as opposed to scouting for business.

 

Connecting with people: A Twitter example

Many creative freelancers highlight the importance of word of mouth in securing work and social media can be an important tool for expanding personal networks. Writer Benjamin Law is one person who has used social media (specifically Twitter where he has 39,000 followers) to expand his network. Benjamin is an Australian freelance writer for journals and TV and he has written and co-written books such as The Family Law (2010), Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) and Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014). He describes the way he uses social media as a natural extension of the solitary nature of working as a freelancer.  

‘I have a big social media presence, but I don’t think that’s something I actively go for. I think I’m just on social media a lot because I work from my desk and I have no human contact. As a really great side effect of that I have a solid Twitter following so people often know me as that guy from Twitter. In fact a lot of people only know me as that guy from Twitter and have no idea what I do outside of it…Writing’s a really solitary act and most writers are introverts by nature – that doesn’t mean that they’re shy but it means that their default mode isn’t public. It’s nice having social media where you can be in the public realm but in a private space really…You know that thing you do in a workplace where you go “Hey guys, look at this!” – I can’t do that, I don’t have any colleagues, so twitter becomes my space for that.’

When sharing his thoughts on Twitter, Benjamin is careful to not annoy people with stories about his trips to the shops. ‘I do have some personal rules for my Twitter usage and that’s not to annoy people. It has to be either informative, educational, useful or funny. I want my Twitter account to be useful and that’s what I hope most people get out of it and why they stay with it.’ It must also be noted that all of this did not happen overnight. Benjamin has been on Twitter for six years.

But the main reason Benjamin believes he has been successful on Twitter is that he is curious about the platform and he genuinely enjoys using it. It is not just a marketing ploy that he is forced to do in order to sell his books, it is a way to connect with people. Authenticity is critical.

Increased social media use is a trend that is not going away, so it is important to consider how artists can use it in presenting their creative practices online. Benjamin emphasises that it is important to have various spaces where you interact with the public. ‘It’s hard to capture people from just one space. I think friends of mine who are really resistant to social media and who have written really amazing books, I think it’s much harder for them to say “Look, I’ve written this really amazing book and here’s my website.” That’s not enough nowadays.’

Some key points in creating an effective social media platform is to ensure there is quality content, use lots of visuals (images and videos attract more attention on social media) and update regularly. But perhaps the most pivotal point is the engage in authentic interaction, just like you would in off-line relationships and networks.

In a context where country boundaries are less important for creative freelancers, social media platforms are a way to bring the important process of word of mouth online. Although in some areas (particularly in parts of Asia) internet access is limited, cheap technologies and democratic access give an opportunity for creative individuals to experiment with their practice and still reach out to an audience.  Sometimes you don’t need a large audience, but rather the right audience. There is no doubt social media platforms will not work for every creative freelancer, but by participating in an authentic way and giving time to build relationships, it is possible to make the most of online tools.

 

References

  • [1] Kleine, D & Unwin, T 2009, ‘Technological Revolution, Evolution and New Dependencies: What’s new about ICT4D?’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 1045-67.
  • [2] Ibid.
  • [3] Karaganis, J (ed.) 2007, Structures of participation in digital culture, Social Science Research Council, New York, p. 11.
  • [4] Li, C & Bernoff, J 2008, Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies, Harvard Buisness School Publishing, Boston, p. 9.
  • [5] Howard, RG 2008, ‘The Vernacular Web of Participatory Media’, Critical Studies in Media Communication, vol. 25, no. 5, p. 501.

Claire Rosslyn Wilson is a poet and non-fiction writer who focuses on writing about arts and multicultural topics. She has eight years professional experience in resource development and the arts and has worked with international and non-profit organisations in Thailand, Singapore and Australia. She has had her work published in various journals and in 2014 she undertook fellowship at the Wheeler Centre to develop a book of poems. You can follow her exploits on Twitter @clairerosslyn

 

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Mirroring the artist at Art Basel HK | A conversation with Gaston Damaghttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/mirroring-the-artist-at-art-basel-hk-a-conversation-with-gaston-damag/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mirroring-the-artist-at-art-basel-hk-a-conversation-with-gaston-damag http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/mirroring-the-artist-at-art-basel-hk-a-conversation-with-gaston-damag/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 06:53:30 +0000 culture360.org http://culture360.asef.org/?p=51509

Contributed by Lai del Rosario In this interview, Gaston Damag talks about his show at Art Basel Hong Kong and his views on keeping artistic identity amidst globalisation and...  Read More

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Contributed by Lai del Rosario

In this interview, Gaston Damag talks about his show at Art Basel Hong Kong and his views on keeping artistic identity amidst globalisation and art fairs. A Filipino artist based in Paris for over thirty years, Damag is strongly influenced by his Ifugao ancestry and European training. His works often feature folk imagery fused with a contemporary approach in the form of wood, steel, glass, and oil painting. Damag grew up in Banaue in the northern Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its 2,000-year old rice terraces. Tourism and modernity, however, have had a great impact on the community over the years, a phenomenon that Damag continues to explore in his latest show. Entitled Resemblances, the exhibition was presented by The Drawing Room and showed from 13-17 March.

 

“Impact” (2015). Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Impact” (2015). Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Gaston Damag grew up in Banaue and has been living in France for over 30 years. Damag’s artistic approach fuses his heritage, background in ethnology and anthropology, and European training in the fine arts. He often uses wood, steel, glass, and oil painting in his works. Damag’s art has brought him to exhibit in various museums in France, Luxembourg, the USA, and the Philippines. He has also participated in art fairs such as the well-known Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) in France, Art Basel in Switzerland, and recently, in Art Basel Hong Kong.

Damag’s artistry can be traced to his youth in Banaue, where, as a teenager, he would sculpt bulul – wooden icons representing rice guardians – to sell to tourists in the area. Banaue is a municipality situated in the mountainous Ifugao province in the northern Philippines. It is most known for its majestic 2,000-year old rice terraces and considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Because of the importance of rice in the Ifugao people’s daily life, the bulul figures prominently in their visual and oral cultural expressions, as well as in Damag’s art. Tourism and modernity, however, have had a great impact on their community over the years.

In this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, Damag has come up with all-new works to present in the fair. Entitled Resemblances, the exhibition was organised by The Drawing Room, a gallery based in Manila and Singapore, and showed from 13-17 March.

Contributor Lai del Rosario sits down with Damag to talk about his views on keeping artistic identity amidst the fast-moving world of globalisation and art fairs.

 

Why the title, Resemblances?

Resemblancesressemblances in French – pertains to the idea of the mirror. What is really being seen and interpreted? What is behind our culture? In our world today, the space of interpretation becomes very large. Are artists really seeing what is behind their work?

 

What was your motivation for this idea?

Artists will always have personalities. You can feel from their works if they are from Asia or America. It is vital that art has a personality. For the show, I came up with a series of photographs called “Shadows of Cultures” with myself wearing masks and posing among objects from the Musée du Quai Branly collection in Paris. I think artists are always behind a mask. This mask has an identity that no one can take away. With globalisation, however, art becomes commercialised and this masks the reality of our differences. I do not agree with globalisation in art.

 

_Shadows of Cultures_ (2015) - Gaston Damag

Shadows of Cultures, (2015). Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Is your show a critique of globalisation?

No. It is more about the idea of making my art given my background. I believe that as an Ifugao, I see things differently and I put this in my work. I use the bulul a lot, both as a signature and as a jump-off point to get to another place in art history. It is also a tool to discover other forms within the form. For example, using the bulul as pretext, I came up with four pieces for the show, among them a series of photographs, two sculptures, and an installation. All of them contain the bulul in one shape or form.

 

How do you think globalisation has affected the Ifugao community?

There are cultural and structural changes internally. For example, because of global warming, the farmers cannot plant what they used to and are unable to harvest enough rice for the community. Instead they have to buy lowland rice, which is more expensive. The Ifugao also make more kids now so we need more food supplies than ever. Another factor that contributes to the change is that there are fewer farmers now. Before, most men would plant rice, but now there are other roles they can do, such as become seamen. There is a changing cultural mentality that is affecting our families and livelihood.

 

What about structural changes?

The idea of progress has also changed. Before, the Ifugao made small things and built what they could. Now, progress is defined by scale. When before the Ifugao used kugon (a type of grass) to make thatched roofs for their huts, they now use corrugated metal sheets. These metal roofs have become a symbol of wealth. When I was young, there were only four houses with corrugated roofs. Today, metal roofs have overtaken most traditional houses. But if you look around, there are many abandoned, unfinished structures, probably due to a lack of funds. Maybe progress came too fast.

 

How do these factors influence your work?

I personally believe in building smaller houses but some politicians in my village think this is anti-progress. In the past, I have often used corrugated metal sheets in my art to tackle the idea of progress. For Art Basel, I came up with “Impact”, a sculpture made up of exploding bulul forms. My idea of an impact is not a destruction or of blowing things up, but of getting into the heart of a subject. I wanted to explore the impact of globalisation on the Ifugao community.

 

How is Resemblances different from other shows?

The context of the show is in a commercial place like Art Basel. As an artist, I think differently if my show is in an art fair, as opposed to in a museum. Honestly, it is stressful preparing for a fair as I have to play with what is sellable and not sellable art. In the context of a museum, the stress I have is more intellectual.

On an art historical level, Resemblances is very classical. For instance, with the work “Painting”, I created a bulul using strips of canvas. I wanted to explore the idea of using an element of painting (canvas) to make sculpture, and in turn, of making painting using sculpture. The work is a tribute to painting.

 

Painting, (2015)

Painting, (2015) Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

How do you think living in France has influenced your work?

I think I have been strongly influenced by France in an intellectual sense. I am very Cartesian and scientific in my thinking. I always try to relate meaning in my works to art history. The French often think that as soon as an artist touches a canvas, it is already a painting and part of art history. At the same time, how I see and observe is very much a mixture of my Ifugao and French experiences.

 

 

Further readings

 

Lai del Rosario is an art manager and freelance writer. She started her professional writing career in 2006 as a copywriter in an advertising agency, and has since been crafting articles on culture, lifestyle, and art exhibitions. She is currently based in Paris and has an MBA degree in Art and Cultural Management. She is simultaneously developing an online platform that promotes creative spaces in cities.

 

 

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SEAAA Mobility Platform in Athens | Reporthttp://culture360.asef.org/news/seea-mobility-platform-launch-in-athens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seea-mobility-platform-launch-in-athens http://culture360.asef.org/news/seea-mobility-platform-launch-in-athens/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 10:28:19 +0000 Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio http://culture360.asef.org/?p=51233

On 30-31 March 2015, the city of Athens hosted the first meeting of the SEAAA Mobility Platform. This international meeting aim was to discuss the creation of a common...  Read More

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On 30-31 March 2015, the city of Athens hosted the first meeting of the SEAAA Mobility Platform. This international meeting aim was to discuss the creation of a common fund for the mobility of artists and cultural operators between the various regions involved. The leading partners of the project – Roberto Cimetta Fund, Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) and Australia Council for the Arts –, together with Theatre Entropia, various international organizations, several representatives from the Arab world and Greek operators, chose to meet in the Hellenic capital both for its geographic in-betweenness and as a stance taking in favour of culture in a time of a deep socio-economic crisis.

The regions involved – Southern Europe, the Arab world, Asia and Australia – represent both the focus areas of the partners (e.g. the Mediterranean region and the Arab world are the priority areas of the Roberto Cimetta Fund) and the organizers’ intention to extend new partnerships through different continents.

Participants of the Athens meeting included representatives from India Foundation for the Arts (India); Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018 (Malta); Russian Theatre Union (Russia); India for Transformation (India); Kulturanova Foundation (Croatia); Vasl Artists’ Collective (Pakistan); European Cultural Foundation (The Netherlands); Art Moves Africa; Theatre Entropia (Greece); Zoomal (Lebanon); National Commission for Culture and the Arts (the Philippines); More Europe (Belgium); Nabdh/Pulse (Tunisia); French Ministry of Culture and Communication (France); Al Harah Theatre (Palestine); Vyrsodepseio (Greece); Tamasi Network (UK/Egypt); Asia-Europe Foundation (Singapore); Roberto Cimetta Fund (France); Korea Arts Management Service; Australia Council for the Arts; as well as several Greek operators.

With a clear will to enhance and strengthen the cultural connections between Europe and Asia, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), through its Creative Networks Programme, has supported the launch of the platform and this first gathering of international partners. The alliance of artistic and cultural mobility funding or re-granting organisations – an ambitious and much needed project – has the promotion of discussion, knowledge sharing and the future launch of a new mobility fund among its main goals.

The path toward increased cooperation and knowledge in the field of artistic and cultural mobility had already been traced in previous meetings in 2013 in Prague (Czech Republic) and in 2014 in Melbourne (Australia) . A growing number of organizations and international institutions are currently investing and reflecting on this challenge, on the need to increase mobility projects in order to enhance understanding between regions and to improve working and research environments for artists and cultural professionals.

If the previous meetings of Asian and European cultural mobility funders and stakeholders, clearly showed the strong mutual interest in organizing common projects – between and beyond the two continents –, the latest meeting in Athens took a step forward in this long-term process. The concrete aim now, as already mentioned, is to set up a common fund to support artistic and cultural mobility in a broader geographical context.

The urgent need to create new encounters, draw new routes on the world map, experiment with innovative exchanges, invent new funding schemes and economic models, question globalization and consider proximity, raise awareness of other realities, as well as envisage, conceive and practice alternative cultural maps, were the main matters discussed during the meeting in Athens.

The intensive two-days seminar, held at Theatre 104, brought together over 40 professionals from approximately 24 different countries. The meeting was developed through several sessions, from project presentations to intensive workshops focused on the analysis and discussion of topics related to cultural mobility. The engagement of the participants in the diverse phases of the seminar fostered a valuable context for networking, encouraged critical debate, and paved the way for the construction of long-term collaborations.

At the opening of the seminar, Ferdinand Richard, President of Roberto Cimetta Fund, outlined some fundamental points that constituted the base of the discussions on mobility that then followed. Some of the key points he raised are:

  • “Getting the truth”: the importance of face to face meetings to share knowledge and experiences.
  • The fair-trade approach in relation to culture. We need to practice and advocate for a fair, sustainable and ethical approach in the field of cultural exchange.
  • The importance of addressing the current changes at global, national and local levels with a three-dimensional approach that links culture with different territorial needs, dynamics and methods.
  • The need to understand the challenges of evaluating and measuring the effect, impact and sustainability of mobility actions.
  • The importance of the “pay-back” step: artists need to come back and share their experience with the community of origin.
  • The role played by local authorities which are increasingly playing an important role as funders in Europe.
  • The holistic approach: we need a complete chain where everyone can work together.

These introductory insights set the tone of the meeting and fostered the discussion among the participants.

Three simultaneous workshops addressed three specific areas and topics: 1) Performing Arts; 2) Operators and Entrepreneurs; 3) Proximity.

Many interesting ideas emerged from the three workshops: in relation to “Performing Arts”, the participants stressed the need to support artists, professionals and companies throughout the entire process, not only the final outputs. Essentially linked to this point is the importance of evaluating the process and consequently inventing more flexible tools of doing so as well as understanding the impact of a grant.

The workshop on “Operators and Entrepreneurs” was mainly focused on issues related to local cultural development and sustainability. Most of the participants agreed that economic criteria should not be the only parameters for evaluating cultural development. Other points raised from the discussion concerned the need to understand and analyse rapidly changing demographies, the critical relationship between art and education, and the differences between tourism and other mobility models.

The third workshop on “Proximity” gave way to an intense and fruitful debate. Many artists and cultural professionals expressed their growing interest in experiencing other geographical transits rather than the usual big cities (the so-called golden triangle). A “km-zero” strategy – privileging the local over the global in exploration of other mobility routes within cities, linked to ideas of periphery, decentralization and sustainability – are issues that should be addressed and fostered by mobility funders and stakeholders.

The final sessions were focused on economic models and funding schemes (existing or to be invented), where different mechanisms – including the opportunities provided by the crowdfunding model – were analysed.

This first meeting of the SEAAA Mobility Platform was definitely necessary to discuss the urgent matters at stake across different latitudes and, above all, was an essential starting point, a sowing of seeds, to create a solid and common Alliance. In this light, it is certainly relevant to mention the Canary Islands Declaration on Culture and Artistic Mobility, a common framework agreed by six independent cultural mobility funds from different areas of the world, who together agreed to work as a coalition for the advocation and dissemination of the principles stated in the Declaration. Thus, the Canary coalition can be viewed as the precedent to the SEAAA Alliance.

Even if the times required to develop a new mobility fund will be long and complex, and even if there are many different approaches and ways of understanding terms, concepts and mechanisms, the Athens meeting demonstrated that there is a clear and shared commitment to work together toward the creation of a common fund. Beyond the sharing of common values, the new Alliance should set up a joint open call for artists and cultural operators, those who will be the real beneficiaries of the fund by accessing new and stimulating mobility opportunities.

Furthermore, all the participants agreed that cultural mapping is a necessary action that must be supported and fostered. New alliances, new encounters and new mobility routes are waiting to be explored and experienced. The wide and diverse framework of the SEAAA Mobility Platform reminds us how necessary it is to connect, partner, explore, move around and think together on a global scale, as well as to develop a local focus and the politics of proximity based on sustainable models and strategies.

 

Useful links:

 

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio holds a European PhD in “Art History, Theory and Criticism” from the University of Barcelona. He is faculty at Transart Institute (NY-Berlin) and Post-Doctoral Visiting Researcher at United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM). His researches involve the subjects of intercultural processes, globalization and mobility in contemporary art and cultural policies, the interactions between artistic, educational, media and cultural practices in the Mediterranean and the cultural cooperation between Asia and Europe. He has participated in several international conferences and developed projects and research residencies in Europe, Asia, USA and the Middle East. As an art critic and independent curator he writes extensively for several international magazines. He is Editorial contributor at Culture360 – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Managing Editor at ELSE – Transart Institute, and co-founder of the Platform for Contemporary Art and Thought, InterArtive.

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Connecting Irish design to the worldhttp://culture360.asef.org/magazine/connecting-irish-design-to-the-world/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=connecting-irish-design-to-the-world http://culture360.asef.org/magazine/connecting-irish-design-to-the-world/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 07:52:53 +0000 Magali An Berthon http://culture360.asef.org/?p=51015

In 2015, ASEF culture360 invites you to get an insight on issues that are highly discussed in the cultural sector across Asia and Europe. Through a number of in-depth...  Read More

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In 2015, ASEF culture360 invites you to get an insight on issues that are highly discussed in the cultural sector across Asia and Europe.

Through a number of in-depth articles and interviews, Magali An Berthon will initiate a reflexion about a creative generation which connects arts, design, crafts and social responsibility. She will introduce European and Asian personalities and initiatives, which offer original and inspiring answers to a globalized world.

In this second article, Magali An sheds a light on Irish Design with ID2015, a unique opportunity to discover designers across the island of Ireland and abroad, through a year-long series of exhibitions, design and fashion weeks, architecture biennales, workshops and talks.

 irish design

 

In 2015 Ireland will live under the exciting creative pulse of design. Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) offers a year-long festival exclusively devoted to show the many faces of this locally-based industry from interior design, to fashion and architecture. It unfolds mainly in Dublin but also within the whole country in Galway, Limerick, and in the Leitrim county. It involves the main players of the field from the specialized galleries and art centers such as the National Craft Gallery, to the design schools such as the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), to the creative talents themselves. Through a generous monthly schedule, this first edition has planned numerous opportunities to explore a major aspect of the Irish artistic culture. The festival emphasizes on the cross-sectional dimension of design and crafts, by showing the broadest range of know-how and practices. This unprecedented initiative is supported by the Irish government and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

As a perfect introduction, visitors may start their in-depth discovery right at their arrival in the country. The tone is set at the Dublin airport with a complete aisle dedicated to “Design Island,” an exhibition of 300 photographies by Peter Rowen. It highlights the work of two dozen award-winning and acclaimed designers and craftsmen such as architect duo Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell + Tuomey, animation studio Brown Bag Films, or Joe Hogan —master in basketry weaving. The bystanders have therefore the opportunity to dive into a variety of environments, close to the different techniques, tools and materials.

Beyond the extensive choice of high standard exhibitions, this design celebration is also a platform to think and discuss about making processes, innovation, training and transmission of skills. Through numerous talks and gatherings, it aims to foster a sense of community and encourage collaborative works.

Finally ID2015 intends to put Ireland on the map of international design and to advocate for its well-deserved recognition. The festival extends its program to an international audience with events organized in Europe (London, Paris, Milan for the Salone del Mobile,) but also in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong and Shenzen.

Defining an Irish style may appear challenging considering the plurality of profiles placed under the word “design.”  ID2015 showcases projects in tune with the challenges of a highly globalized and connected world. From one event to the other, this edition captures an multi-faceted image of Irish design which fully deserves to be taken into consideration. It accurately drafts the portrait of a community of designers and artists who follow the footsteps of Irish twentieth-century key figures such as Modernist architect and furniture designer Eileen Grey (1878-1976). This vibrant new generation avoids superfluous artifice and focuses on functionality with a deep sense of simplicity, efficiency, lightness, and a strong taste for craftsmanship. Many projects show an interest for traditional handicraft techniques such as wool knitting and weaving, metalwork, ceramics and woodwork, which are used and remastered with a contemporary twist. It is the case with textile designer Claire-Anne O’Brien and ceramist Derek Wilson’s works who both were included in the major exhibition Liminal – Irish Design at the Threshold in April 2015 at the Milan Salone del Mobile.

Promoting crafts and design has also a significant impact from an economic point of view. It fosters employment and commercial opportunities. “Irish Design 2015 aims to drive job-creation and grow exports through the promotion and celebration of Irish design, which is key to our continued economic recovery.,“ says Paschal Donohoe, Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. The ID2015 initiative successfully brings awareness to this growing field, helping projects to flourish and stimulating the excellence of an Irish creative scene.

www.irishdesign2015.ie

 

Magali An Berthon is a French Vietnamese textile designer and editor based in Paris. Graduate of the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris, she has gathered a valuable experience as a textile designer for fashion and home collections.  She finds inspiration in her many travels especially in South-East Asia and has developed a deep interest for ethnic arts & crafts, natural fabrics and dyes. In parallel, she works as a writer and documentarist specialized particularly on textile know-how from all over the world. 

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