As the EU Culture programme draws to a close, the UK Cultural Contact Point will be writing several articles on the current programme, the next programme (Creative Europe) and our work in helping the sector connect to new ways of working, European partners and EU support. First in the series comes from our director, Yvette Vaughan Jones, with an insider’s view on an EU working group on artist residencies. Continue reading
PROJECT IN FOCUS
The Glam era of the early 1970's had enduring appeal, with the music and outlandish styles of the period remaining influential today. Glam! The Performance of Style is the first ever exhibition to trace the genealogy of Glam to the spirit of creative freedom evident in the British art schools of the 1960's and the phenomenon of camp that emerged in the New York underground art scene during the same period. The exhibition reveals the absorption of these fine art ideas at the long front of popular culture. Glam! has brought together important artworks created in a range of media, alongside key documentary elements, to emphasise the continuing influence of Glam on the contemporary imagination.
'We are delighted to have as tour partners Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz. Working with colleagues in each of these institutions has enabled Tate Liverpool to extend the reach of this exhibition Europe wide. Glam! The Performance of Style has ensured that the collaboration between all three partners has been successful on an international level and has allowed a greater layering of institutional influence and expertise, which is important in the development of new artistic products internationally. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the Culture Programme of the European Union for their major support of the exhibition and symposium Glamarama. The programme and collaboration provided a critical reflection on a fascinating period for both art and popular culture.'
Andrea Nixon, Executive Director, Tate Liverpool
Aerowaves is a Europe-wide network started in 1996, which brings together dance specialists from 34 countries to look at the work of young choreographers. Aerowaves’ annual showcase of new talent, Spring Forward, is a new European roving dance platform. At the end of April 2014, it will settle in Umeå as a festival highlight of the European Capital of Culture. 80 artists and 100 presenters will make their way to this northern Swedish arts magnet to meet each other and enjoy 20 new dance works in five theatres over a long weekend. And the local audience will get a glimpse of what’s new across Europe according to experts from 34 countries.
Stable funding of the project allowed us to initiate Spring Forward as a visible pinnacle of otherwise obscure network processes. After only three years, possible inclusion in the platform attracts the most promising young artists and enhances their cross-border opportunities, finding new audiences.
John Ashford, Director, Aerowaves
Aerowaves has among its members are not only theatre and festival directors but also artists and organisers, representatives of both bigger and smaller organisations. Aerowaves has above all managed to observe the following principles: equality of its members, an informal atmosphere, and real outcomes for emerging choreographers. Without all the information and experienced gained during the network's meetings by participating in talks, evaluating videos, and without the constant flow of vivid international and professional communication, Workshop Foundation would not be able to organise its Hungarian and international programme.
Gergely Tallo, Workshop Foundation, Hungary
Connecting Cities is a new kind of cross-border exchange bringing into play a radically innovative platform for artistic and social content dissemination: Urban media facades across Europe and city-to-city real time joint broadcast events. The cooperative project is articulated around three different scenarios:
The Networked City in 2013, the Participatory City in 2014, and the Visible City in 2015.
The Connecting Cities Network (CCN) is regrouping all collaborating partners launching together a European infrastructure of Urban Media Facades through events, workshops, conferences and artists’ programmes. The network was instigated by Public Art Lab and unites 15 co-organisers and associated partners today:
Initiated by Public Art Lab in co-organisation with Ars Electronica, Media Architecture Institute, FACT, Amber Platform, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, m-cult, Medialab-Prado, iMAL, Foundation Riga 2014 and Videospread. In association with Aarhus University , Marseille-Provence 2013 , MUTEK Montréal , Quartier des spectacles Montréal and Streampark TV.
"Connecting Cities has enabled FACT to participate in a network of high-profile new media institutions across Europe, and to contribute to the larger debate around the transformation of public space in the age of digital and communication technologies". Ana Botella, Programme Producer, Foundation For Art and Creative Technologies (FACT)
“The European Urban Media Network Connecting Cities is a network with the aim of creating an exchange between urban activists, creatives, passers-by and city inhabitants from all over the world via media façades and large digital screens”. Connecting Cities website
IMAGINE 2020 is an arts and climate change network that spreads across nine European countries and brings together eleven diverse, highly motivated and experienced cultural institutions. Through a series of joint and individual actions, IMAGINE 2020 will engage the audiences across Europe around issues of climate change and use its creative potential to raise awareness, provoke and nurture change among the general public.
created by Michael Pinsky and produced by LIFT and Artsadmin as part of the IMAGINE 2020 network.
Plunge is a simple, elegant statement placed on three monuments in central London. A string of low energy blue LED lights wrapped around each monument marks a time, 1000 years in the future, when sea level rises have changed the city beyond recognition. The monuments are ones that are passed every day by hundreds of thousands of people, whether tourists who stop to photograph them, or commuters who walk by every day without seeing them.
‘We were delighted by the positive response to Michael Pinsky's Plunge, a beautiful arts installation co-produced with Artsadmin made possible by our membership in the IMAGINE 2020 network. Being part of this pan-European network enables us to tackle the global issue of climate change, possibly the most pressing issue of our time, by producing exciting and ambitious art of a larger scale and wider platform than we could achieve on our own.’
Jonathan May, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT)
'Winning the Literary Translation award for 4 books in 2011 was really what got Istros Books off the ground and I am extremely grateful for them giving me the possibility of bringing these titles to the English-speaking audience. I believe that this funding strand is a lifeline for many small publishers all across Europe, who would otherwise not have the financial capacity to commission translations. The fact that each application is vetted by a team of local experts means that the books which pass reflect all that is best in contemporary, European fiction, and therefore winning the award for the second time round is also a great endorsement of my authors and the work of my translators.'
- Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, Founder, Istros Books
Istros Books was supported for the translation of 4 books in 2011:
Jazz in the New Europe: a major new initiative from London Jazz Festival that brings seminal figures together with emerging talent in a string of new collaborations and commissions, club nights and lively public discussions.
Performances include an especially assembled group led by French jazz heavyweight Henri Texier. This series sits amidst a wealth of other music reflecting the riches of the European jazz scene, including strands of programming taking in music from Finland and France including Iro Haala at St James Piccadilly.
“Thanks to support from the Culture Programme of the European Union, this year’s London Jazz Festival presents an exciting programme of international collaboration, featuring the jazz giants and rising stars of the European jazz scene. The Festival will see musicians from across the continent working together to develop new music that breaks through frontiers whilst retaining the individual creativity of each participant. This spirit of exchange and collaboration is at the heart of the Jazz in the New Europe."
- John Cumming, Director of the London Jazz Festival
“It is terrific that the Culture Programme of the European Union is supporting the London Jazz Festival, enabling this internationally renowned celebration of jazz to welcome even more European talent and to showcase exciting collaborations between European artists.”
- Jonathan Scheele, Head of the European Commission Representation in the UK
The European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO) initiated the programme of mobility of pre-professional musicians called "MusXchange":
The programme was first developed in 2009 by the EFNYO as a network of 25 pre-professional youth orchestras covering 22 countries in the EU. Today, the EFNYO has successfully applied for a second cycle of the programme covering 2012-2014. The new programme allows exchange projects for another 130 young musicians between 8 co-organisers and 4 associated partners from among EFNYO membership.
You can consult previous reports on the project website.
'The MusXChange programme of the EFNYO has enabled NYOS to provide invaluable opportunities to its students. This is the great strength of an organisation like NYOS being able to work in an integrated European network; our students have their musical and cultural horizons broadened in ways they could not otherwise have envisaged.'
'In addition, NYOS has been able to welcome musicians from various parts of Europe to our own projects allowing Scotland’s next generation of orchestral musicians to meet and learn from musicians from the best youth orchestras from elsewhere.'
Chris Bragg NYOS Orchestral Ensembles Manager.
Robots and Avatars explores how young European citizens will work and play with new representational forms of themselves and others in virtual and physical life in the next 10-15 years. The project brings together an exhibition, debates and learning experiences, showcasing the most exciting visions and innovations from EU artists, designers and architects, exploring their impact on the future of work and play.
Robots and Avatars brings together a set of great UK and EU partners, all engaged in innovative and public-oriented projects using new technologies. Co-organisers are KIBLA, in Maribor (Slovenia), recognised throughout Europe as illuminating future activists and one of the top institution in Slovenia dealing with multimedia and intermedia art, AltArt in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), who develop interactive platforms, mixed reality events exploring new cultural dimensions and interdisciplinary projects. In the UK associate partners are FACT in Liverpool, who has been leading the UK video, film and new media arts scene for 20 years with groundbreaking exhibitions, education and research projects, and the National Theatre in London who is one of the UK most prominent publicly funded theatre companies and increasingly developing digital relationships with our audiences in both the virtual and physical spaces.
'EU Culture programme support has enabled body>data>space to expand massively the scope of our project at a European level, working in collaboration with an exciting and diverse mix of partners, bringing together artists and professionals together from a variety of cultural and skills backgrounds. It also allows us to creatively engage inter-generational audiences from UK, Slovenia and Romania. Deep collaboration and networked process are crucial in our transnational projects, and this can take time and dedication- however the results are very rewarding for all involved!'
- Leanne Hammacott, Project Manager
'A show revealing some of the ways robots and on-screen avatars could change our lives, as the borders between our physical and virtual lives begin to blur.'
- The New Scientist
The Duty of Comedy is a project initiated by the lead-organiser Speira Speira (GR), with co- organisers Artluxe (UK), Art Act Cultural Association (Romania), and Simya Arts (Turkey).
This collaborative initiative used the ancient Greek comedy writer Aristophanes and the choral songs from his plays as a springboard to re-create a new play called Aristophanes Now.
After touring Athens, Istanbul and Timisoara, the production was presented in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in April 2013
“The opportunity to collaborate with artists and performers from four different European countries and exchange knowledge and experience was fantastic. The cooperation project allows you to discover new ways of collaborating to produce multicultural and cross-disciplinary projects. I thought it was particularly fruitful to be able to discuss subjects/themes from different angles and with diverse cultural references. Creating an original performance as an ensemble in a cooperative project was also exhilarating! The EU Culture Programme’s input was vital for the Duty of Comedy project and the creation of the music performance ‘Aristophanes Now’. The programme facilitated and allowed for participating collaborators from each country to achieve their full potential and create unique and original final projects”.
Takis, Artistic Director, ArtLuxe
The Orientations Trilogy project capitalised on existing work to complete a Trilogy of plays and a publication of scripts and related articles. New and existing collaborations between the partners in the UK, Sweden, India and China created the basis for a new piece of theatre involving video, contemporary dance, ballet, opera and traditional Asian forms, performed in London, Shanghai, and across Sweden. The project explored gender issues and identity in both Western and Asian cultures and included youth participation workshops and learning programmes in the host countries.
The Culture programme gave us the chance to build exciting new creative partnerships across Europe and beyond. In particular, we had the chance to work over a sustained period with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, and their incredible performers. We made the third play of the Trilogy through a development workshop in their studios, and performed it both in the UK, Sweden, and in Shanghai itself during the period of the 2010 Expo. The Chinese audience had clearly not encountered this sort of multi-lingual, multi-media theatre before, and was very excited by the way it told the familiar stories of their own lives as Chinese people in a global city.
-Michael Walling, Border Crossings
Wake Up, through high quality performing art, develops cultural practice using music/creative arts to foster tolerance and understanding between ethnic and socially divided communities. The methodology employed creates a sense of place and confidence to promote cultural tolerance, conflict resolution, peaceful co-existence and the respect for human rights and democracy.
The Wake Up partnership brings together: Opera Circus' (OC) experience in partnership building and project delivery with international performances, music and the creative arts; Edinburgh University (UoE) and Musicians without Borders(MwB) which develop applied methodologies in workshops and performance, demonstrating the cultural impact of music as a transforming power; and Teatar Mimart's (Mimart) renowned skills in creating mime/physical theatre with excluded and divided communities, adds a further high quality artistic dimension to the project.
Wake Up has three main objectives:
a. to develop high quality international youth music theatre production and performance
b. to train cultural leaders in the methodology of using music and the creative arts to foster understanding for cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence
c. to influence at national and international level the use of this methodology in cultural policy and implementation.
'The success of Wake Up we believe is due to the integration of the cultural and creative opportunities through a devised and open process. The individual elements have joined into a creative whole which has inspired us to continue in the next project with a much larger group of partners.'
- Tina Ellen Lee, Opera Circus
POSTED IN PROJECTS IN FOCUS