Close Encounters Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS connects the three culture
metropolises Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in the representation of contemporary art, the promotion of encounters and the development of a “new
closeness” marked by reciprocity. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is borne by artists and cultural actors of the three cities and the creation of a cultural cross-border
network. The objective is to raise public awareness on a broad level of the respective art scenes and of the opportunities offered by synergies in this large
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS creates an active transnational network of artists, cultural actors and theoreticians for a sustainable exchange and for
the implementation of art projects between Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS starts with presentations, performances, DJ-lines and publications in
Vienna and in the Web.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS initiates a cross-border exchange of ideas and invites artists, cultural actors and theoreticians from Vienna,
Bratislava and Budapest to comment on CLOSENESS between these cities - in geographical, historical and emotional respect. These comments will be uploaded to the
Web as short videos and will be published in the catalogue.
StartCLOSE ENCOUNTERS 08 starts on 17th May 2008 by presenting contemporary art
from Bratislava and Budapest in different locations in Vienna and by the creation of a culture network for a sustainable exchange between the three cities. CLOSE
ENCOUNTERS 08 is generated by CLOSENESS relating to the geographical context as well as to the close collaboration of the participants and the furtherance of
border crossing encounters.
- Development of a sustainable cultural cross-border exchange
- Promotion of contemporary artists
in Central and Eastern Europe
- Strengthening of local initiatives and art scenes through transnational networking
- Sensitizing of a broad public
for the respective art scenes
- Reciprocal relations and new synergies between the culture metropolises
- Dismantling of fear and stereotypes
- Creation of a cross-border cultural network Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest
- Development of mutual exhibition
projects, performances, art in public space
- Preparation of a culture theoretical analysis of the historic and geographic closeness of these three cities -
opportunities and obstacles (remembrance politics and identity constructions)
- Development of future perspectives and visions for a new model of relations
and final dismantling of stereotypical East-West categorizations
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS takes the recently completed highway
between Vienna and Bratislava and the final border openings through the Schengen enlargement as incentive to develop a sustainable exchange and to urge a clear
road also for new cultural synergies! Thereby making a contribution to alter fixed pictures in the heads and to dismantle persistent relicts of East-West
The cultural exchanges between Vienna and Bratislava, the closest capital cities of the world, have only developed very slowly since the
change 1989. Mutual representation of artistic production and the realisation of cultural cooperation projects, 18 years after 89, are still standing in no
relation to the spatial closeness of the two cities; this applies equally to Budapest. A closeness holding the greatest potential for cultural density and
diversity, at the same time entailing the necessity to reformulate the relationships between the cities. The often quoted historic model of relations between these
cities in the k.u.k. monarchy can only function as a nostalgia catalyst and has to be released by visions for the future.
Until now large cultural
manifestations in this neighbourhood were mainly effected in sine wave patterns, i.e. on given occasions such as the fall of the iron curtain 89 or the EU East
enlargement 2004. At the end of 2007 the long-awaited highway between Vienna and Bratislava was completed. At the same time pass controls were abolished through
the Schengen-Enlargement. However, a majority of all Austrians objected to this final border openings fearing a rise in criminality. (Die Presse, 11.12.07: 75%
of the Austrians fear a rise in criminality by the expiration of national border controls.) Our neighbours have a different view in this matter; as such, the
Slovak Prime Minister Fico underlined that joining the Schengen zone was the most important event in history for his country since the change 1989.
context a sustainable intensification of the contacts between the culture metropolises Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in the realisation of mutual art projects is
becoming all the more important in order to dismantle fears and stereotype constructions. The effective practical implementation of border crossing art and culture
projects strongly requires an increased provision of cultural policy frameworks.