Friday, 17 June 2011

Pre-review piece: Survival art review at Tołpa Park

From next Monday till next Saturday is to be a very excellent art festival, Survial, at Tołpa Park.

Unlike what usually happens with art (well, there are notable exceptions in GB and by Dani Karavan across the world) this is an art which is in the, well, real world, so to speak, not hidden behind walls and with (such as what happens in the national museum in Wrocław) glowering attendants.  This is art as it should be, for the people, in the place where the people are.

The festival shall contain installations, workshops, lectures, debates and music and will be dead good.

A blurb from the Survial site says this:
The motto of the 9th edition of SURVIVAL is the subtitle: 'When a park becomes an arena', which refers to the accumulating of citizens activity in allotted, recreational arteries, typical esthetics of such places, as well as to the free use of open city spaces.

The archetype and an unchanging pattern, which has been used for ages in all parks, is the natural landscape. The core and value of any park is its uniqueness. This results, for the most part, from its situation, natural background, cultural features of a region, social and economic conditions.

A park as an object of use fulfills a couple of basic social functions: it enables its users recreation and contact with nature, satisfies their esthetic needs, makes the contact with other people possible.The majority of Polish parks becomes an “arena” for opposing practices of ordering (care for the flora and structural elements) and disobedience, that is using elements and fragments of the park for individual needs and carrying out individual (quite often original) ideas and aspirations, which can both help in broadening social functions of those places, and – in extreme cases – lead to destruction of the infrastructure.

The modern park fulfills the function of a city’s living-room – its open space invites the common human tendency to strut around and expose oneself to the public view. Thus the park becomes a background for this kind of expression. Comparing the park to the living-room (that is to a representative space within a house) refers also to the process of a modern metropolis image creation, which is based on revitalization and giving an esthetic value to its chosen (representative) fragments. The subject-matter of works submitted should correspond with this year’s motto of the SURVIVAL Review or refer to such concepts as: social bounds, tracks, traces, the visible/invisible, garden, exhibition/exposure to the public view, disappearance etc.

SURVIVAL 9 offers the possibility of an experimental display of art works. After a project is chosen, the concept of the work’s presentation will be drawn up as a result of a cooperation between an artist and the curator. The organizers reserve the right to present some of the chosen projects exclusively in the form of applications, drafts and documentation.

Bear in mind where this event is taking place: Ołbin.

Ołbin is a 'socially-neglected' part of Wrocław, complete with various social problems (one not being the fact that I live there).  That this event is taking place here is representative of something very good: A development of Wrocław not as an elitist or place of propaganda for tourists, rather a place where the local people can come and interact with the programme, thus making the festival their own.

Seriously, get your arses down to this.  Young people will especially like a workshop 'My Sign – My District – My Street’ which will happen at 3pm at the park next Monday (the 20th).

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