1. Short description of all events (incl. number of participants: performers, lecturers, organizers, visitors etc.)
The term Agency can be applied to activity of things and adaptive systems, which could also be art. In the context of Agency the artist does not only provide aesthetic experiences or conveys knowledge but through his art also intervenes, makes things happen, sets processes in motion. Every work of art can be seen this way and we wanted to emphasize the possibility.
The city of Třeboň has commissioned a proposal study for a new art centre, which has been recently completed and published. By employing the above strategy the project is an attempt by incremental steps to implement the proposal. The exhibition was the first step or as it were a dry run towards this long-term aim.
A) The Symposium, Třeboň, 06 – 11.08.2013
The Symposium was the preparatory part of the project exploring the current local social-cultural situation and the practical aspects of staging the exhibition.
The invited artists from the Visegrad Four (CZ, SL, PL, HU), came to Třeboň to meet their potential audience and the organisers, as well as to get to know each other and to familiarise themselves with the basic premise of the project and its other aspects. The centre of the Symposium was the Art Camp – two marquees erected in the Chateau Třeboň Park, where the public could interact with the artists and obtain the relevant information including the Symposium program, which was also publicised using distribution of posters and leaflets.
The main theme was public and private space and the ever-shifting boundary between the two concepts as for example when the exhibition makes accessible parts of the Chateau Třeboň never before open to the general public, etc.
The principle requirement presented to the artists was to respond to the place, its specific conditions and circumstances and to express this experience through their work in the forthcoming show in October.
To achieve this aim the symposium had two programmes:
B) The Presentation of the project and the symposium outcome, Warsaw, 20 – 21.9.2013
The event was organized by the Polish Participating Partners at art café Chmury in Warsaw. With the help of the Polish participating artists one of the Czech curators presented the Třeboň study for the art centre and the results of the Třeboň Symposium to a smaller but very interested audience from the Polish art world. As a result fresh contact were established leading to current discussions about new partnerships for the next stage of the project.
C) The Exhibition, Třeboň, 05 – 12.10.2013
The exhibition took place in the New Gallery within the complex of the Chateau Třeboň and its park, in the House of Štěpánek Netolický and on the main town square of the historical centre. The New Gallery was opened in the former Chateau Granary, which has never been accessible before to the general public. Central to the project’s strategy is organizing art exhibitions and by doing so gradually open more parts of the large and attractive building, which has been so far closed to the public.
Most of the artists arrived before the opening of the exhibition and were housed in the Chateau. They helped with the installation and were present during the private view on the 5.10. 2013 attended by about hundred people including the Town Council representatives with the Mayor who opened the show. During the evening there was also a music performance by the duo Richter & Son. The visitors were offered refreshments.
The original thirty six artists were joined by a group of fourteen young architects from Aletier Kohout Tichý of ČVUT showing architectural projects for the Třeboň art centre bringing the final number of exhibiting participants to fifty.
The selected artists represented all generations working with broad range of media. They were united by the interest in the project and by the common theme of public/private space reflecting the Třeboň phenomenon, which was clearly running through the show enhanced by the monumental space of the former Chateau Granary.
There was public interest not only at the opening but also during the show and especially the closing night. The Guided Tours became very popular particularly among students and teachers from local secondary schools to such extend that the originally planned number of Guided Tours had to be more then doubled.
The closing night of the exhibition was the most attended part of the show with more then hundred fifty visitors. The visitors were served refreshments, they could join the Guided Tour and enjoy the accompanying programme led by a musician from the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra responding to the artworks and interacting with a group of about twenty local musicians.
Local, regional and national information and communication media covered the exhibition. The show received attention from newspapers, TV and Radio as well as specialist art journals.
Further exhibition details:
D) The Presentation of the project and the exhibition, Budapest, 19 – 21.11.2013
The event was organized by the Hungarian Participating Partners and was given by one of the Czech curators. It took place at MOME, The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in the form of a seminar at the Faculty of Art Theory, which was then followed by a public lecture in the main Auditorium of the University with total audience of about fifty. As a result a number of new contacts were made for future collaboration. Refer to Section 3.
2. Description of achieved aims (compared with expected results from the application, changes against original plan)
The project exceeded our expectations in terms of the commitment of the individual artists, the high standard of the work resulting in a quality exhibition. This was undoubtedly helped by the imposing interior of the exhibition spaces, which complemented the art and created an exciting and stimulating experience for the viewer.
We were very pleased with the level of interest not only from the general public but also from the media and the art world. The project attracted unexpected level of attention at home and abroad from individuals, institutions and organisations. For example Anifilm, the lading animation film festival are interested to become partners with our project. Together we are now planning an exhibition in Chateau Třeboň in May 2014. In the process we hope to open more parts of the building to the public, which has been one of our principle aims.
The project went according to plan with one exception when we postponed the Hungarian event, the presentation of the project in Budapest, till after the exhibition. This proved to be an improvement on the original plan since the presentation could include not only the symposium but also the exhibition, which attracted interest at MOME and other institutions and opened collaboration possibilities there. See bellow Section 3.
3. Description of participation of “Visegrad partners” at the project, description of the project’s Visegrad feature
Třeboň, surrounded by the unique countryside, nominated for UNESCO protection and historically linked to the neighbouring regions was the constant reminder of the specific Central European identity phenomenon, which was reflected in the work on show.
The international Visegrad dimension was a continuous presence throughout the project and was one of its most attractive features. The foreign artists brought new fresh perspective to the Třeboň experience. They could see and analyse the situation from their outside positions, pointing out aspects of the project that were not apparent before. It was also thought-provoking to notice that there seemed to be distinct viewpoints among the Visegrad four, reflecting their diverse cultural backgrounds.
The question of Central European cultural identity was repeatedly discussed, both formally during the lectures and debates and informally when reflecting the WHYRWEHERE project in terms its regional, national and international dimension. The Central European art and culture traditional identity was considered both valuable and desirable but also in decline and in need of revival. Our project was clearly seen as worthy contribution towards this aim. Should the project in the end achieve the creation of the art centre, the ‘Visegrad’ Central European feature would become part of its identity and its programme. Being part of this process would give the artistic community an opportunity to influence the future direction of the art centre as a Central European institution.
The Polish side facilitated contacts with the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the Hungarian side with the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, which are now being developed, exploring the possibilities of collaboration with the Academy of Fine Art in Prague.
Contacts with view of future cooperation were made with the Gallery Viltin in Budapest and with the Budapest City Gallery.
4. Description of media coverage, outcomes (publications, audio/video production etc.) and other enclosed project documentation
The main outcome is the full colour publication WHYRWEHERE/PROCJSMETADY HOPE with texts by Matouš Karel Zavadil, Magdalena Jadwiga Härtelová and Kurt Gebauer, featuring the project and the exhibition and published by the Academy of Fine Art Prague ISBN 978-80-87108-44-4 with financial support of Visegrad Fund.
List of further web portals that reported the project: