In the second article from our series of uncovering the final bid book, we present the programme pilar ≫ Future’s Factories, project cluster ≫ Public Subjects and the investment plan ≫ Hangar – Creation Centre for Art in the Public space.
Find out more about the structure and content of the final bid book → in a previous blog post.
Žilina, Bielsko-Biała, and Frýdek-Místek are typical examples of cities that developed along with their respective industries. Industrial production has been a fertile ground for a particular culture, one that consists of both tangible and intangible assets: factories as the foundation of new urban structures; crafts, engineering, and entrepreneurial skills as a source of social and economic capital. Specific mindsets, loyalties, and attitudes co-create the social fabric and everyday life in industrial regions, even if their people are often not aware of it.Žilina and Bielsko-Biała also have a longstanding tradition of being the go-to places for art production. In this program pillar, we develop it further, build new capacities, and as a result, the existing creative and innovation ecosystem in the Beskids region will gain new production facilities, exhibition spaces, ateliers, and workshops. We nevertheless have to be cautious, as the founder of e-flux, An- ton Vidokle, reminds us in his famous essay “Art Without Artists?” wherein he criticizes tendencies to turn artists into mere producers and artworks into products created on-demand from curators and programme managers. This risk surely also applies to developing ECoC’s artistic and cultural programmes, including ours. We will be careful, emphatic, and always work closely with artists; we will prioritize direct investments in the development and production of new artworks. It is also an expression of our concern for artists and the related professions, represented by an effort to improve their working conditions based on the principles of circular and social economy and promotion of fair pay. We believe that collective imagination, empathy, and generosity make up a space where art and culture meet social activism, management, and local networks in the most productive way. Therefore, a big part of the programme in this pillar will be dedicated to citizen participation, sharing, and co-creation of strategies and artistic interventions for public spaces.
After a period of full political and aesthetic control over the public arena in the Communist era, a certain disengagement of the Slovak art scene from the public space took over in the 1990s. Now, with new (crowd-)funding opportunities, artists again look to monumental realizations in public spaces. However, they often lack professional production facilities and support to realize such projects, from performances art to installations and large-scale sculptures. They are therefore forced to curb the ambition and impact of their works. The Public Subjects project cluster is about art going public. We will support local production capacities and introduce new and existing large-scale art productions which we will co-create with a group of local and European artists and performers. It is there, on the streets, squares, parks, by the rivers… that the window of opportunities for contacts with new audiences is fully open. Let us see and meet there in thousands! The project will also present a challenge for artists and creators in the form of reaction to their work by the general public.
Projects related to the Public Subject cluster
⬤ Hangar – Creation Centre for Art in the Public Space ⬤ European Puppet Theater Season ⬤ Giant Puppets Parades ⬤ Tanečno ⬤ Akustikon ⬤ Nonument
⬤ NCAF – New Circus Art Fest ⬤ Echoes of the town ⬤ Žilina Žije
Starting with artists and their ability to creatively transform places, to mobilize and inspire the inhabitants, we plan to create HANGAR – Creation Centre for Art in the Public space. Creations that will be supported range from visual art, sculpture and installations to performance art, theatre, dance, and new circus, with the ambition to be presented in the public space rather than in dedicated artistic spaces. The idea for a creation center came from the lack of such structure in the larger region. Inspired by models of similar types of infrastructure from various Western European countries, but adapted to the artistic, technical and financial condition of the region. Independent festivals and cities in Central Europe often lack the funds to accept offers from Western Europe and/ or cannot always find suitable offers from local artists, who in turn lack the support and spaces necessary to produce artworks at this scale and under these specific conditions. HANGAR Creation Centre will provide a large hall where companies can test their shows or produce their artworks, in line with the Žilina Beskids priority of producing rather than only programming. The transformed bus depot and garage of the local mass transit company will host the creation centre and offer ideal conditions for art production with: technical equipment, material repository, and resource center, a large hall to rehearse or present productions, a large empty square ideal for outdoor shows, and an artistic makerspace studio to produce artworks or props for shows. There will also be a CC upcycling center with a material bank for artistic creation. HANGAR will also provide space for the production of animated films and occasionally for large events and concerts. At the same time, a new entrance with a reception, a café, and an information center will be created there.
Events related to the investment project HANGAR
⬤ Enough is Enough exhibition ⬤ Scale up workshops ⬤ Beskids Sustainable Design week ⬤ European Artistic Crafts Days ⬤ Animators in Residence ⬤ Echoes of the town ⬤ NCAF – New Circus Art Fest ⬤ Beskids Industrial Heritage Route ⬤ CC: Circular Culture