As a part of industry programme of the 10th year of the new Slovak theatre and dance festival – Kiosk, the representatives of Contemporary Dance Platform (PlaST) and Antena – network for independent culture met on Friday, 28 July 2017 to discuss and seek solutions within the potential co-operation on presenting the Slovak contemporary art in the local cultural centres.
The need of discussing this topic had been rising among the PlaST members as well as the independent cultural centres representatives for a while before. The moderated discussion was attended by a group of 15 consisting of PlaST members (representing their own artworks, but also their civic associations), various Slovak cultural centres representatives (Antena network members) and other interested discussing people (from the fields of cultural production, theatre critics, and non-professional dance) enriching the talk with valuable outside-the-box points of view.
The discussion starting point was a reflection of and sharing personal approaches towards what for each of the attendants meant placing a work of art in a Slovak cultural centre. These individual approaches created lively grounds for revealing critical points of this rather simple process and the debate started moving in the direction of expressing the needs of the process systematisation. Several participants stated the need of building a functional distribution network based on the grounds of mutual awareness and “humane” bonds or communication. At the same time, it was shown that placing a work of art in the right context is one of the key aspects of the programme dramaturgy. Such contextualisation, correlation, and linking is inevitably connected to constant education of the audiences.
The person fulfilling the above mentioned needs should be a curator. This function has various shapes in different cultural centres. Mostly, it is quite indistinctly diffused within the organisational-dramaturgic team. It is crucial to strengthen the mutual awareness in the artist – cultural centre relationship to enable this sort of curatorship. One of possible solutions is to present an artwork in its initial phase already. Hence giving the programmers an opportunity to peek into the ideas, intentions, or context of the work-in-progress since the beginning of the creative process, so that they are aware of what to expect in the upcoming season, what project they might possibly collaborate on (e.g. providing art residency space or co-production means), or simply just so that we constantly brighten up the contours of the Slovak contemporary art context.
A substantial event in the effort to move the awareness towards the right direction ought to be creating the so-called art-market. In other words, creating a presentation and networking space for the artists and cultural centres representatives with the vision of future collaboration. The organisation of these meetings should be taken care of by the co-operation of PlaST and Antena representatives.
The discussion was moderated and the report worked out by Jakub Turčan, the PlaST manager.