Issue #15-16, 2003
Gallery 2

„Her und Hin“ / Attraction and Solidarity
Attila Tordai-S.

The various cooperation projects take a more and more important place on the visual arts scene. Foundations, organizations, cultural and educational institutions founded since 1989 in the post-communist countries, just like independent intellectuals, participate on a regular basis in the most diverse cultural exchange programs. Along with the debate around EU integration of these countries came a new political turn in the interest for the East-European “culture”: the cultural cooperation programs are developed especially under the slogan “adoption of western standards by eastern countries”. But in parallel, one can note that the intercultural projects are becoming somewhat “mechanical”, as the context they apply to seems less and less important. Maybe this is one of the reasons for artists participating in such projects to feel less and less attracted by the proposed idea or theme. The issue of what kind of collaborations can be established thus arises. Are they still characterized by the Solidarity specific to any co-work? More than that: how does technical organization of events influence their final product? What is the effect of “cultural exchange” mechanics on the artistic practice? And how does “cultural exchange” influence the social relations in the countries involved in the programs? These are just a few questions that the Attraction and Solidarity project addresses.

In order to make clear the organizational circumstances of this project we have to say that Attraction and Solidarity is the second section of a cultural exchange program entitled “Her und Hin” [Here and There]. In this framework, six cultural events are planned. The first two, Unoccupied Territories – organized in Berlin this spring – Attraction and Solidarity, have been done in collaboration with the Berliner gallery K&S and IDEA arts + society magazine from Cluj. The six artists who participated in Unoccupied Territories were asked, as a consequence of their reflection upon the first common show experience, to try and cooperate only with those colleagues to whom they feel some attraction or even invite new artists with whom to make collaboration works and, in the same time, to address the issue of social solidarity.

The development of the project follows three main objectives:

1) to offer an image about how the eight participant artists see the issue of social solidarity, starting from their various experiences in this area;

2) to invent a procedure that makes possible for the artists’ presentations to avoid the usual art circuit in which the works are first presented in a gallery and they reach only afterwards, as reproductions in a magazine for instance, a wider public.

3) to continue the discussion of the theme in the framework of an interdisciplinary symposium, taking as a landmark precisely the actual case of the exhibitions organized in the “Her und Hin” project.

Translated by Izabella Badiu