ArtGenda’s Experiments in Hamburg
This year the ArtGenda
biennial - a festival of young artists from the countries on the Baltic
Sea - was hosted by the city of Hamburg on June 6 through 23. The event
was initiated in 1996 by the Danish and was held in Copenhagen for the
first time. Supported by municipalities of the Baltic region, the festival
has become one of the key events of the European cultural capital of
the year. The event "measures" cultural potency of the region
and monitors creative vitality of the artists.
Each year the festival places more emphasis on social and communicative
aspects and tries to intervene into the life of the hosting town.
The ArtGenda 2002 has chosen even a more radical agenda than its predecessors
had. It offered a decentralized artistic process (the works by the artists
were dispersed across both lively and remote locations of the town)
and exciting projects provoking communication. The participating artists,
foreign and local, had thirty-three projects to chose.
Around 180 artists from 18 countries took part in the project, yet the
busy and lively town almost absorbed the biennial of the young artists.
It has become a silent opponent to a concurrent event, the exhibition
"Art and Economics".
The ephemeral nature of the festival was too apparent, and its architectural
projects were underfunded. It seemed like the festival offered too many
things to choose from and invited too many artists. However, the event
featured a series of vibrant and interesting projects, like House Calls,
that took artists into private homes, or one of visually most impressive
parts, Trust Your Local Artist, featuring video installations in the
windows of the buildings around the town square, to mention but a few.
Ten Vilnius based artists represented Lithuania in different projects.
The exhibition side of the festival turned out to be less important
than socializing. It would be a good idea to change the nature of the
event from a "serious biennial" into a summer symposium that
would allow free communication of the artists.