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Narratives

Articles, news, interviews, conversations, podcasts, critics… Exchanges on topics related to public space between artists, the civil society and cultural operators. Keeping the dialogue with European cultural policy makers and the cultural and creative sector in general, this section explores how art can have an impact on society, and vice versa.

How to connect art and sustainability?

Nature awakening

Thomas Lamers

While we see numerous hot-topics emerge, questioning the relationship or even the responsibility that art should have in an evolution towards an inclusive and environmental-friendly society, where do artists and organisers stand? How to foster a holistic approach that can really make a difference?

IN SITU ACT Days

Regeneration of places

Live Talk Session

How to reclaim digital and physical public space? Working in public space today

Artistic Acupunctures: a dialogue with the civil society

Cultural identity

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

What is happening when you let nine artists explore nine European places, asking them to respond to social, cultural and urban local issues?
In this podcast Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio, author of the "Acupuncture series", gives insights on the concept of this experimental artistic research project.

Artistic Acupuncture, nine European territories under the artistic microscope

Regeneration of places

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

"Let’s now open an imaginary window. What do we see? Is this how we imagine public space?"This final article written by Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio completes the entire series of nine articles about the Artistic Acupuncture missions that took place all over Europe.

Acupuncture #9: "Urban transformation in Moss. In which way, with whom and towards what direction?"

Regeneration of places

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

The city of Moss (NO) and its urban renewal landscape are at the centre of this ninth and final IN SITU "Artistic Acupuncture". The artist Sjoerd Wagenaar carried out his creative Acupuncture mission there, focusing his research on local participation in urban planning - in close collaboration with Østfold Internasjonale Teater.

Acupuncture #8: "Participatory rituals: when the local encounters the global"

Regeneration of places

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

In 2019, the choreographer Joanne Leighton was invited by IN SITU to do an Artistic Acupuncture in Terschelling (NL). In this specific island context, the artist focused her creative response on the notions of the global and the local - in close collaboration with Oerol Festival.

IN SITU TALKS

Social justice

Create in public space

How do European curators connect with the society? With which aims, dreams and processes? The IN SITU TALKS are a new series of four live interactive webinars with some of the IN SITU members discussing just such questions. Each Tuesday, from April 14th on and until May 5th, in solo or duet, they have presented their political landscape, their cities and inhabitants, artistic projects and their working methods.

Acupuncture #7: The con(temporary) monument: questioning meanings, forms and symbolic expressions

Cultural identity

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

In 2019, the artist duo zweintopf formed by Eva and Gerhard Pichler were invited to do an Artistic Acupuncture in Prague (CZ). For this mission the artists decided to work on the specific subject of the monument, the sculptures, and their meanings - in collaboration with 4+4 Days in Motion.

Acupuncture #6: "The last drive and the first dance | The shifting identity of Genk"

Cultural identity

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

In 2019, Francesca Grilli was invited to do an "Artistic Acupuncture" in Genk (Belgium). She found creative potential in the city's background by connecting different times, eras and generations. In close collaboration with Provinciaal domein Dommelhof.

Acupuncture #5: "In the New Desert: the local and global challenges of rural depopulation"

Regeneration of places

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

In 2019, dance artist and choreographer Deirdre Griffin was invited by IN SITU to address the complex issue of rural exodus in Catalonia through the development of a creative response. Her "Artistic Acupuncture" took place in Tàrrega (Spain), in close collaboration with Fira Tàrrega.

Acupuncture #4: "A BESA policy for Kosovo | How to address visa restrictions from a traditional viewpoint of mutual responsibility"

Social justice

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

Morten Traavik visited Kosovo twice in order to develop his "Artistic Acupuncture" mission focused on the visa regulations policy in the country. By exploring major issues such as cultural identity and social justice, he came up with a new way to facilitate artistic exchanges in Kosovo - in close collaboration with Teatri ODA.

Acupuncture #3: "A space to call their own | The voices of the community in the post-industrial district of Csepel, Budapest"

Cultural identity

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

Artistic Acupuncture 3#: In 2019, Nada Gambier and Mark Etchells explored the post-industrial district of Csepel, Budapest (Hungary). Within this artistic research, both artists focused on concepts of cultural identity and urban renewal, in close collaboration with Artopolis Association / PLACCC Festival.

Acupuncture #2: "Hospitable, hostile? The place of women in public space"

Social justice

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

With a background in anthropology and a practice that often involves concerns about women’s rights, Maria Sideri focused her artistic research in Marseille on the elements of dominance and accessibility that constantly define public space. In close collaboration with Lieux publics, based in Marseille (France), Maria Sideri started her "Artistic Acupuncture" by exploring different districts of the city and by encountering many people who informed her field trip.

Acupuncture #1: "Processes of Becoming - Graz Reininghaus and its future development between utopia, imagination and reality."

Regeneration of places

Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

Danae Theodoridou – a performance maker and researcher who focuses her work on the notion of ‘social imaginaries’ and the way art can contribute to the emergence of social and political alternatives – has been invited by La Strada Festival to develop her "Artistic Acupuncture" in the area of Reininghaus in Graz, Austria.

A continuous theatrical investigation into the future of democracy: Episode 3/3

Social justice

Lucas de Man & James Moore

For the IN SITU pilot project In Search of Democracy 3.0, Lucas de Man and his team of Stichting Nieuwe Heldenwork work together with IN SITU partners to make an investigation of current democracy and its challenges for the future.

Bottom-up vs Upside down

Cultural identity

Mathieu Braunstein

How do artists adapt to the contemporary world? How do they react to more limited resources and increasingly stringent policies? What new forms of collaboration are they coming up with? From Exeter to Budapest, Amsterdam to Bordeaux and Marseille, creative ecosystems, funding, and cultural references have changed.


Join us on a quick tour of Europe. 


Let the Sunshine in

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

In a strained political context, Viva Cité 2019 succeeded in putting on a peaceful event in a number of city districts, and especially at the foot of residential housing blocks...

A continuous theatrical investigation into the future of democracy: Episode 2/3

Social justice

Emma Lesuis & Jasper van den Berg

For the IN SITU pilot project In Search of Democracy 3.0, Lucas de Man and his team of Stichting Nieuwe Helden work together with IN SITU partners to make an investigation of current democracy and its challenges for the future.

In this second episode, the team explains about the research they did to nourish the performance and the media project.

The international mobility of artists: mobility of ideas and aesthetics

Social justice

Marie Le Sourd

What does it mean, today, for an artist to be mobile? For some, mobility is a choice and a luxury; for others, it is an economic or political necessity. For many more it is not a realistic option, or can only be accessed at the invitation of a 'western' collaborator. Meanwhile, mobility is being reshaped by the twin pressures of environmental and political upheaval...

A continuous theatrical investigation into the future of democracy: Episode 1/3

Social justice

Jan van Tienen & Kees Lesuis

For the IN SITU pilot project In Search of Democracy 3.0, Lucas de Man and his team of Stichting Nieuwe Helden work together with IN SITU partners to make an investigation of current democracy and its challenges for the future.

PIG tour diary

Social justice

Seth Honnor

Seth Honnor, the artistic director of Kaleider (United Kingdom) followed his PIG around Europe. PIG is an original IN SITU Pilot project focusing on the concept of collective choice and responsability. Taste a bite of its 2018 tour and read its diary.

How to build a fictional reality?

Digital spaces

Ambrus Ivanyos

The Hungarian artist Ambrus Ivanyos of the collective MeetLab describes the conceptual significance and the creation process of the project How to disappear completely, a site-specific reality game in the public space that has been developped and presented at PLACCC Festival in Budapest in September 2018 and adapted in Izmir, Turkey, in February 2019.


A glimpse of the 2018 Hot House in Terschelling

Regeneration of places

Nan van Houte

Invited as an external eye of the Hot House 2018 in Terschelling, I wondered how the 17 artists I would meet would define their ‘public space’. What they would offer, how they would address the currently over-asked and over-exposed citizens which form their audiences.

Follow me young man

Regeneration of places

Mathieu Braunstein

4 + 4 dny v pohybu or 4 + 4 Days in Motion. For the past twenty three years, this festival has been combining the performing and visual arts in unusual places across the Czech capital. The themes it covers make for a truly unique event…

The Babel tricks

Cultural identity

Mathieu Braunstein

Invited to the La Strada festival in Graz, choreographer Chris Haring recently presented an adaptation of his play, “Foreign Tongues” in a church. Don’t the juggling feats of acrobats also have their own way of evoking religious imagery? From the roots of dance and balancing acts, we’re on our way to the museum.

SYSTEM ERROR - Dance & Dare: Essay on Siri Loves Me

Social justice

Ingrid de Rond

Sometimes I wish I knew for certain which steps to take and when to take them. I wish that someone would explain to me how to move and would rehearse with me for days on end so that - whenever the time came - I would be certain to get it right.

In the wind

Nature awakening

Mathieu Braunstein

Off the coast of Leeuwarden, provincial capital and 2018 European Capital of Culture, the Oerol festival is breaking attendance records on Terschelling Island (Northern Netherlands). As in previous years, environmental installations and performances feature alongside more traditional festival events. However, this year, a whole number of artists seem to have conducted unusual studies on time.

An Experiment in Collective Decision-making

Social justice

James Moore - Curator-producer for Østfold kulturutvikling – Avd. Scenekunst

PIG is a playful experiment in collective decision-making that was conceived by the English artist Seth Honnor, Artistic Director of Kaleider. It is being co-produced as a Pilot Project within the framework of IN SITU ACT 2017–2020.

WHISPER OF THE DANCE

Cultural identity

Fanni NÁNAY | PLACCC Festival

We count it as progress if we survive in the first place,’ replied Emilie Petit, art director and founder of the Alexandrian Nassim el-Raqs public dance festival, when I asked how the event has developed over the past seven years and what direction it would take in the future.

Biela noc (White Night) in Košice - Technology in Slovak Art Projects

Regeneration of places

Ivana Rusnáková

Upon returning to Slovakia in 2009, after finishing her studies in France, Zuzana Pacáková was playing with the idea of establishing a contemporary art festival that had been missing in her hometown of Košice. Inspired by Paris’s Nuit Blanche, she enthusiastically decided to enter a fascinating circle, introducing the now-renowned and popular festival of contemporaryart, Biela noc, to Slovak audiences.

First Life - Hyper-reality according to Ici-Même [Paris]

Digital spaces

Samantha Maurin

From a certain point of view

Regeneration of places

Mathieu Braunstein

The streets are a place of protest and sometimes of concern. In Paris, despite the small number of protesters, taking to the streets is a legitimate expression of the people’s democratic rights. In Barcelona, protests from both sides fill the streets on the question of Catalonian independence. But across the Pyrenees, Benjamin Vandewalle’s latest participatory performance in public space brings us back to art history.

Brendan Walker's feedback on Pristina's ATELIERS 2017

Cultural identity

Brendan Walker

Sat in Pristina International Airport waiting for my flight to Vienna, and on to London, I’m wondering what this week has been all about: why do I feel so damned tired, and why do I have a photograph of a boy-mannequin, wearing a crocheted waistcoat, posed in front of a badger pelt on my phone?

Extraordinary Travels

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

In Hull, recently voted the “least romantic city in England”, Freedom Festival celebrated the 210th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It strikes an appropriate political tone, in the wake of recent racist incidents and discourse in Charlottesville, Virginia. Thought-provoking debates and shows combined with lighter entertainment, which were also steeped in the city’s history.

The Border

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

In summer, the air in the border city of Graz (which takes its name from “grad” or “gradec”, meaning “town” in Slavic languages) ripples with the sounds of Croat, Slovak and Slovenian. A generation ago, the city was at the border of “the other Europe”. Today, the La Strada festival is peacefully celebrating its 20th anniversary. But other borders still need to come down in people’s minds.

Giving and Sharing

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

Players pool their money but they cannot use it if they cannot agree how to spend it. Other sums are exhibited in full view in the public space... In a world where European policy sometimes seems to come down to questions about budgets, the British studio Kaleider offers an interesting small-scale take on money.

The New Rules to the Game

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

With the unexpected elections of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron, Brexit ... Political news seems more and more difficult to read. What do artists offer? More participation and a redefinition of the collective that may imply a change of scale. At the very least, a new paradigm.

After fair trade, fair art ?

Social justice

Fred Kahn

In contrast to the productivity-based, consumerist model which dominated the 20th century, more contributory systems are now emerging. It is within this context that certain artistic creations are presenting another economic approach, in order to more equitably share the richness of our imaginations.


From both sides

Cultural identity

Maddy Costa, journalist

Jay Wahl is the former artistic director of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Vladimir Us  is a curator with the Oberliht Group in Moldova. Both organisations are members of the IN SITU platform. They examine the concept of popular art and compare their approaches to working in public space.

In the name of the people

Social justice

Jean-Marie Durand

In the face of increasing authoritarian trends, demagogy, discredited elites, and public indifference, public opinion and political leaders are oscillating between popular and populism. Join us as we delve into the modern challenges of democracy.

Changing Metropolis : a Framework for Action and Reflexion

Regeneration of places

Metropolis - art and performance in public space

The Metropolis 2007-2017 initiative, launched by IN SITU member Københavns Internationale Teater (KIT), aims to link the world of the arts and theatre with city life and urban development. The ambition is to forge continual collaborations crossing the disciplines of art and architecture, culture and urban planning – across local, regional and national borders.

KLAXON #6 : For an Inclusive City

Social justice

CIFAS

A periscopic perspective

Regeneration of places

Antoine Pickels

This article makes no pretence of being an exhaustive account of everything that happened during the Neerpelt Hot House, but offers a specific and partial perspective from a curator and artist who has recently become a network partner. It offers a periscopic perspective, much like that of a submarine – enough to identify what is on the surface, and maybe even to target what is under the surface.


It breaks down into three parts: examination, diagnosis and cure. First I will endeavour to identify what struck me in the artists’ personalities and in their projects, then what bringing together these personalities and projects can tell us about the context and the broader situation in society, and finally what could, perhaps, be refined in the Hot House approach.

Time is life

Hospitality

Mathieu Braunstein

In one of our previous columns, we discussed the Leviathan monster, without dealing with Thomas Hobbe’s notion of “commonwealth”. The idea of a commons is coming back to the fore. Just what does it mean exactly?

Security at what cost?

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

“Art in the face of terror”. After the terrorist attacks of last spring, this burning issue was explored by participants over four days at the International Centre for Training in the Performing Arts (CIFAS) in Brussels, through both discussion and actions.

Column #4: A series of passing

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

The Paris, Brussels and Nice attacks remind us that public space can also be a place of mourning, an aspect covered by some artists at the Travellings festival in Marseille.

Column #3 : Cardboard Beacons

Social justice

Mathieu Braunstein

Wherever you find the artist Frank Bölter, who we just read about in column #1, you’ll find his simple paper-made artistic creations in public space… and that’s no accident.

Column #2 : The Balkan Route

Cultural identity

Mathieu Braunstein travelled in the Balkans during the 1990's and is the author of the book: François Mitterrand à Sarajevo, le rendez-vous manqué, éd. L'Harmattan, 2001

Column #1 : In praise of margins

Regeneration of places

Mathieu Braunstein

How can you write about art in public space in Europe, while keeping a critical distance and avoiding eulogistic praises? How can you analyse the performing arts, something that, by its very nature, is temporary, while keeping your ears open to what's going on in the world? As always, books are a precious aid for staying focused on what matters.

"The sense of belonging in a participative artistic creation"

Hospitality

Hajrulla Ceku

Emerging spaces in Prishtina, Kosovo, hosted by Teatri ODA 5-7 April 2016

Ephemeral sounds and virtual tents or what do we need to jump?

Regeneration of places

Tamás Jászay - Emerging Spaces 2016, Budapest


The European network IN SITU, an advocate for site-sensivite art, has organised yet another edition of Emerging Spaces, a series of intensive workshops. On paper, the seminar’s opening days in Budapest focused on post-industrial areas, with the ruined but beautiful Csepel Industrial Park as its central location, although the set topic would go through various changes throughout the three days of the workshop.

Freedom Fighters

Social justice

Fabienne Arvers and Hervé Pons (Les Inrocks)

How can artistic creation in (post-communist) Europe continue in a context of economic crisis and democratic regression? We discuss the current climate with three festival directors from Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, and Polish Theatre Director Krzysztof Warlikowski.

Report on the Emerging Space Marseille: Breaking Down Barriers

Regeneration of places

Mathieu Braunstein

This Emerging Space was a strange experience, with a strange title, open to many interpretations, especially in English: "breaking down barriers"…  

Art and New Technologies

Digital spaces

Maddy Costa

How do new technologies affect creation in public space: in Norwich, European artists have explored new opportunities offered by these innovative tools.

Footprint, sight, space: from site-specific creation to site-sensitive art

Regeneration of places

Giorgia Marino

A garden begins wherever a human foot  touches the ground to step into a space that is both vegetable and mineral. That’s the moment when the memory of his presence is first settled in that place.” 

The street belongs to us

Regeneration of places

Neil Butler (UZ Arts) & Werner Schrempf (La Strada), interviewed by Hugues Le Tanneur (Les Inrockuptibles)

Neil Butler is the former head of UZ Arts, an independent organisation based in Glasgow (Scotland) that initiates a number of cultural programmes worldwide. Amongst other work, Werner Schrempf heads La Strada festival in Graz (Austria) which he founded in 1998. These two IN SITU network members’ directors provide together their account of art in public space today.

Fleeting Cities in Europe

Regeneration of places

Olivier Grossetête & Anna Rispoli (Zimmerfrei), interviewed by Quentin Guisgand, Ariane Bieou (IN SITU) and Jasmine Lebert (Lieux publics)

Olivier Grossetête and Zimmerfrei collective (Massimo Carozzi, Anna de Manincor et Anna Rispoli) build “fleeting” cities. "Fleeting City" by Olivier Grossetête and "Temporary Cities" by Zimmerfrei are two IN SITU projects. As one creates common sense by building real cardboard walls, the other offers a dream version of the city.
Artists' reflection about the invisible walls dividing our towns.

Interview with Trevor Davies

Nature awakening

Jean-Sebastien Steil & Ariane Bieou

Licensed city planner Trevor Davies is the director of the Metropolis biennale of art in the public space, organized by Københavns Internationale Teater in Copenhagen. He is also the head of the application committee for the city of Åarhus in the run to host the European Capital of Culture program in 2017. 

Artists And The Foreign Presence In Europe: Productions That Buck The Trend

Social justice

Jean-Sébastien Steil

"Arab revolutions" on one side, xenophobic withdrawal of European countries on the other, and moving from one to the other, immigrants holding on to glistening hope. On the European stage, artists are seeking to present and help us to identify with the ambivalent experiences of migration and exile.

Whose walls? - Transient art for a shared public area

Social justice

JR - Photographer

Gigantic portraits of Palestinians and Israelis plying the same trade, stuck face to face in public areas, on either side of the Dividing Wall. That was Face2Face, a daring project which brought fame to its authors, JR and Marco. Since then, the two authors have pursued their work, springing surprises in daily city life to change our way of seeing things.