Center and Periphery: Cultural Deserts in Eastern Europe

Center and Periphery: Cultural Deserts in Eastern Europe is a two-year project organized by tranzit.cz in collaboration with OsloBiennalen as a part of the activities of the Biennale Matter of Art. The project is funded through the EEA and Norway Grants.

Power relations permeate the artistic field and create hierarchies – among spectators and participants, within artistic institutions, and between artists and other actors both inside and outside the artistic field. They are determined by social and economic conditions, and they define art and how much and for whom the art in question is accessible, but they never do so without limits. How is it possible to subvert existing power configurations from the position of one who is themself permeated by them? Where does the desire of the artist, curator, producer, and other actors come from, and what role does it play in disrupting these power schemas, in creating collaborations that seem impossible and relationships that inevitably collide with great social and cultural differences? How does one create relationships and collaborations with others, transform one's own institutional practice on the basis of these relationships, and think about the extent to which various socio-economic processes (e.g. gentrification, revitalization, state funding strategies for the arts) imprint themselves on these relationships?

The project focuses on peripheral and liminal forms of art making and transformative artistic strategies that enter into open and active relationships with other disciplines and communities. It turns its attention simultaneously to the inner essence and the outer context of artistic operations. We direct our focus toward people with a broad range of experiences and those who come from different social classes, and in dialogue and collaboration with them, we search for new and different (or old and rediscovered) content and formats for artistic, cultural action.

Within the framework of the project, we organize artist and curatorial residencies in Prague and Oslo, initiate the creation of new artworks and participate in their production and funding, publish a discussion podcast series, and organize public discussions and workshops. The project will culminate in an international exhibition of contemporary art – the Biennale Matter of Art 2022.

For more details please visit the project website

External Links
Project website
Bienále Ve věci umění / Matter of Art
EEA and Norway Grants


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