• A European cultural cooperation project of international contemporary art exhibitions in Germany, Croatia, Hungary and Lithuania, complimented by an Artist in Residence program and a series of internal workshops about digital cultural management, postindustrial cultural spaces, art education and the inclusion of people with disabilities.

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Molded stone wall in the interior of the Robotron-Kantine, designed by Eberhard Wolf, sculptor Photo: Eberhard Wolf
  • “What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.” Cameron Moll

    FLOC

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Molded stone wall in the interior of the Robotron-Kantine, designed by Eberhard Wolf, sculptor Photo: Eberhard Wolf

VIDEOLOG

The following video documentation of the first curatorial meeting was filmed and edited by the Flowin Connection project’s communications partner, SpeakEasy Project.

Flowing Connections - Episode 2 (EN/DE) from OSTRALE



Flowing Connections - Episode 1 (EN) from OSTRALE



ABOUT THE PROJECT

Looking at the environmental, social and economic dynamics of the last decade (or, to put it bluntly, "the end of the world as we know it"), it is increasingly clear that the imperative of continuous growth and development is no longer a sustainable vision for our future, if we want one at all.

But even though more and more individuals come to this realization, the greater systems that govern our world and our societies seem less willing to change their ways. Sometimes it feels as if we are caught in a current against which it is pointless to fight, but swimming upstream seems more important than ever as we do not have as much time as would normally be needed for such fundamental cultural shifts.

The role of art in this context is problematic: should it serve as a means of to develop sensibility and empathy for a deeper understanding of these questions? Or would this be a restriction of artistic freedom and an invitation to propaganda? Is art a luxury of the developed world that should be abolished first when we reduce our consumption and limit our material needs? Or is it, on the contrary, the most important tool to survive and maintain our hopes in an otherwise hopeless and frightening world?

Connecting four cities with a close relation to water and building bridges between two ECOC cities among them – Dresden in Germany by the river Elbe, Budapest in Hungary by the river Danube, Rijeka (ECOC 2020) in Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic, and Kaunas (ECOC 2022) in Lithuania by the Nemunas and Neris rivers –, the project Flowing Connections (FLOC) explores the artistic, ecological and cultural questions of waterside living, the rivers and seas that nourish and threaten our cities in equal measure, divide and unite people, nationalities and landscapes, and our caring or abusive relationships with them.

With an international curatorial team including curators from each partner country, FLOC will establish a pool of cca. 160 artworks from and around the partner countries and from all around the world that will be then shown in three exhibitions of various scale in Germany, Hungary and Lithuania: first as part of the OSTRALE Biennale O21 exhibition in Dresden during the summer of 2021 in cca. 6000 m2, then at the Project Space of the Art Quarter in Budapest during the spring of 2022 in cca. 400 m2, and finally in frame of the ECOC program of Kaunas during the summer of 2022 in cca. 1500 m2. The exhibitions are accompanied by an Artist in Residence Program in frame of which four artists or artist collectives from the partner countries will spend a month in Dresden preparing artworks in four shipping containers, that will later on be exhibited in all four partner cities in frame of the exhibitions and by themselves in Rijeka.

The curatorial and exhibition work of FLOC is complimented by a series of internal workshops for the leaders and employees of the partner institutions, where experiences and good practices in the fields of digital cultural management, art education, the cultural use of postindustrial facilities and the inclusion of people with disabilities will be exchanged, shared and researched, resulting in a publication and a documentary film about the results. The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

INTERNATIONAL CURATORIAL TEAM

The selection process of the OSTRALE is a mixed system, since artists can be either invited by members of the international curatorial team, which is newly created for each exhibition, or apply by themselves via the Open Call. Then in a three-step jury and curatorial process, all jurors and curators vote on the proposed artworks of the invited and applicant artists. For the exhibitions in 2021-2022, the jury is reviewing, discussing and evaluating more than 3000 artworks by 1150 international artists. The international jury of the OSTRALE Biennale O21 is composed of renowned art scholars, curators and art historians from Eastern European countries, and the leaders of OSTRALE:


Patricija Gilyte (VSI Kaunas 2022 / Lithuania)

“My youth in Lithuania was marked by the existence of political borders between East and West. Since I got engaged with art, I was in a permanent search for boundaries between disciplines or media, wishing to overcome them. But generally, I am interested in coexistence itself as an idea; and art is my preferred way of storing and transporting information between different places or cultures. There is one particular phenomena that has always entranced me: the fluid (dynamic) continuity emerging from particular artistic positions. Some artworks never come to a dead end, but permanently stay in flow and offer a conservation of energy. Tireless pushing and unveiling of man-made boundaries and inventing of new formats seem to be an essential part of that process. I guess, the secret is to move toward the starting point, instead of beginning at the starting point.”

Patricija Gilyte is a visual artist, former participant of the OSTRALE O11 and O16 exhibitions; invited artist of the Kaunas Biennial 2011, REWIND - PLAY - FORWARD. Member of the curatorial team for the 3rd Artists’ Biennial "Factor X. The Chromosome of Art" at Haus der Kunst Munich 2017; member of the German Artists’ Association and the Lithuanian Artists’ Association and Letmekoo (Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association). Studied at the Academy of Art Vilnius / Art Institute Kaunas and at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In addition to site-specific works, her work includes performative sculpture, video art and installation, and is dominated by questions concerning the concept of the border. Supported by various scholarships, her work developed during residencies and cooperation projects in Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Switzerland. Her video works have been shown in various international exhibitions. In 2019 the KKKC Kunsthalle Klaipeda, Lithuania presented her solo exhibition EQUINOX, in 2020 her solo exhibition will be opened at the Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum in Vilnius. Mandated by the „Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022" institution.


(Photo © Airida Rekstyte)



(Photo © Barabás Neogrády-Kiss)
Krisztián Kukla (Art Quarter Budapest / Hungary)

“It is hard to believe in a curatorial statement in general. But at the same time, it is very tempting to interpret the text-based curatorial work as phylacteries. This was the name of open-ended scrolls hung around the necks of represented figures that were to cure the difference of the image by supplying narratives beyond the limits of pictorial representation. The word originally meant a watch post, amulet, and a prayer box. So the text watches over the meaning, fixing it or attempting to do so. The image accepts it, wears it, or may consider it parasitical. What meanings we attribute to the images also depends on what texts we read.”

Krisztián Kukla is a curator and the artistic director of Art Quarter Budapest (exhibitions, artist studios, artist in residence). Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Debrecen. As a DAAD scholarship holder he studied art history and philosophy at the WWU Münster. Currently he is an associate professor at the Faculty of Media and Communication of Milton Friedman University, Budapest, and a lecturer at the Faculty of Aesthetics of Pázmány Péter Catholic University. From 2011-2015 he was the managing director of the MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art in Debrecen, Hungary. Since 2015, he is the artistic director and organizer of the Leopold Bloom Art Award, the most important independent art prize in Hungary.




Ivana Meštrov & Nataša Bodrožić (Slobodne Veze / Croatia)

“We are looking for »modes of destabilization of the system of apparent reality through mechanisms of discursive analysis (and visual representation) in order to create gaps, territories of the ‘possibilities undiscovered’ which are to be found outside of the given choices imposed by the dominant politics of culture«. We are interested in topics of imaginative geographies (E. Said ), that is – the ways that other places, people, and landscapes are represented, the ways these imaginings reflect the preconceptions and desires of their inventors, and the relations of power between these authors and the subjects of their imaginings. We find the potential in non-institutional educational platforms as a way of forming collectivities, public exchange of critical positions and personal relation to the notion of official truth and belief systems.”

Slobodne veze is a self-regulating initiative of artists, curators and cultural practitioners, founded in 2009. Two founding members participate in the curatorial team: Ivana Meštrov (to the left) studied art history and archaeology at the University Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris with a focus on contemporary art. Until september 2020, she was curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (MMSU), responsible for the exhibition program of the Museum of the European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020. Nataša Bodrožić (to the right) studied at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, at the University Lumiere 2 in Lyon and at the University of Arts in Belgrade. So far she has co-curated or produced numerous exhibitions, symposia and projects in public space in Croatia and abroad. Ivana Meštrov and Nataša Bodrožić were both co-curators of the Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and Mediterranean (BJCEM)> MEDITERRANEA 16:ERRORS ALLOWED, in Ancona, Italy in 2013.

(Photo © Slobodne Veze)



(Photo © OSTRALE)
Andrea Hilger & Antka Hofmann (OSTRALE – Centre for contemporary art / East Germany)

“Contemporaneity is a central category of our work, carried by the spirit of interfering, enriching our society and constantly contributing to renewal. This is only possible if questions, issues and paradigms of our time are not reduced to one view. We are looking for diverse answers, individual positions and complex artistic perspectives. Constantly examining our own attitudes, questioning the foreign and the new with interest, is for us both a basic attitude and a challenge. Looking outwards opens up the possibility for us to bring in our own points of view and place them in an open discourse. For us, creativity arises from the forces of cultural identity, global exchange, urban open space and empirical play in art. To promote and challenge these will continue to be our mission.”

Andrea Hilger (to the right) is the 1st representative and artistic director of OSTRALE. Born in 1970 in Leipzig, artist, organizer, founder and director of the OSTRALE – Center for Contemporary Arts 2007, founder of TANZart Dresden 1997 and HILLUMINATION – Light + Stage Design 2001, board member of Tanzbühne Dresden e.V. since 1999. 2009 recipient of the Förderpreis of the City of Dresden, member of the Orga-Team of the Konferenz der Konkurrenten (Conference of Competitors) in preparation for the European Capital of Culture 2025 applications. Antka Hofmann (to the left) is the 2nd representative, co-founder and co-director of OSTRALE, and since 2013 deputy head of the exhibition construction team. Born in 1977 in Großenhain. Artist, cultural manager, lives and works in Dresden and Heiligendamm. As an artist, she has had solo exhibitions in Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden, as well as various group exhibitions in Germany, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Spain and Malta.




PARTNER INSTITUTIONS

OSTRALE - Center for Contemporary Art (Dresden / Germany) is primarily concerned with providing a space for international, cross-border cultural projects. In doing so it is helping to develop an open cultural landscape where different artistic viewpoints engage in dialogue. As well as seeking connections between artforms, it also aims to create links with science, education and social engagement. OSTRALE exhibitions and projects have a long-lasting impact because they focus on important social issues that address the European identity. The artistic expression, free of any purpose or use imposed from the outside, exemplifies the profound nature of what the works are trying to convey. OSTRALE exists at the heart of Dresden’s vibrant cultural life, a scene that embraces all forms of art. OSTRALE acts actively on both the local and the international level participating in art exhibition projects outside of Germany as well, for example in Hungary, Poland, Malta, Kenya and many other countries. OSTRALE is the lead partner of the FLOWING CONNECTIONS project.

Art Quarter Budapest (Budapest / Hungary) is an independent art centre. It was initiated in 2012 and it functions as an exhibition place for contemporary art, studio house and residency program in a unique renovated factory building, the former Haggenmacher brewery. Numerous Hungarian visual artists and creative enterprises found their constant base in the building complex. Art Quarter Budapest runs an international artist in residency program, provides space for a unique experimental sound studio (Spatial Sound Institute) and organizes exhibitions in its non-profit Gallery called Project Space. AQB became a cultural melting pot of an international creative community with a wide variety of artists from the music, applied arts, dance and visual art scenes. Focusing on our audience development, we are organising art events and cultural programs for the local community and also creating international networks at the same time.

VSI Kaunas 2022 (Kaunas / Lithuania) was established by the Kaunas City Municipality, the Kaunas District Municipality and the association “Kultūros tempo akademija”, as the main organisation responsible for the implementation of Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022 programme. The organisation’s main goals are closely connected to the City’s strategic development plan and include the involvement of society in changemaking and addressing some of its key challenges. Since its establishment, the organisation has been highly focused on local and artistic community engagement for the research, interpretation, promotion and preservation of modernist heritage, as well as the development of international partnerships among modernist cities. Building up to the title year of 2022, the current activities of Kaunas 2022 comprise a range of international and local projects, including an international heritage summer school, heritage related conferences, the development of the online heritage platform modernizmasateiciai.lt and others.

Slobodne Veze (Loose Associations - contemporary art practices, Croatia) is a self- regulated artists’, curators’ and cultural workers’ initiative. They are looking for modes of destabilization of the system of apparent reality through mechanisms of discursive analysis. The organization is active in Croatia and abroad. In 2013 they co-curated the Mediterranea 16 - Young Artists Biennial in Ancona, Italy and their collaboration with the Biennial network continues till today. In 2013 they started a project & citizens campaign, internationally known as MOTEL TROGIR, for the preservation and critical re-evaluation of late modernist architectural heritage. Within this framework they are organizing cultural events, exhibitions, artist in residence programs, study visits, guided tours, but the most important segment of the project is the research of the period 1945-1990 in Croatia and publishing related to it. Currently they are also partners in the EU project Collective domain of cultural memory.

TIMELINE

2020
01.09 PROJECT BEGINS
25.09. KICK-OFF MEETING – Selection of Artists in Residence
– Communication matters (Website, Logo, usw.)
– Financial discussion
ONLINE
12.10.- 19.10. 1. CURATORIAL MEETING – Visiting exhibition sites
– Jury meeting, artist selection
DRESDEN
18.10. WORKSHOP – Digital Cultural Management
– Financial training session for partners
DRESDEN
2021
18.02.- 26.02. 2. CURATORIAL MEETING – Jury meeting, final artist selection
– Positioning workshop, building discussions
DRESDEN
24.02. WORKSHOP – Case study and brainstorming for the OSTRALE Biennale O21 DRESDEN
05.06.- 20.06. FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (1) Melanie Richter, Jana Rinchenbachová DRESDEN
05.07.- 18.07. FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (2) Anna Fabricius DRESDEN
20.07.- 02.08. FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (3) KOLXOZ | Viktor Vejvoda, Maxim Polyakov DRESDEN
01.09.- 18.09. FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (3) Gabriele Gervickaite DRESDEN
xx.06.- xx.06. 3. CURATORIAL MEETING – Artist assistance in build-up at the OSTRALE Biennale O21
– Artist selection for Budapest and Kaunas
DRESDEN
29.06. PRESS CONFERENCE - OSTRALE Biennale O21 / 11h DRESDEN
01.07. OPENING - OSTRALE Biennale O21 / 16h DRESDEN
01.07.- 03.10 EXHIBITION OSTRALE Biennale O21* * The realisation of the exhibition itself is financially supported by the funding institutions of the respective organising institution. Only the opening events are funded within the framework of the FLOC project. DRESDEN
2022
19.03.- 22.05. EXHIBITION OUT of OSTRALE O22 Budapest, Flowing Connections BUDAPEST
20.03. WORKSHOP – Art Education and Audience Development BUDAPEST
01.06.- 30.06. AIR-EXHIBITION Flowing Connections / Artist in Residence Exhibition SPLIT
02.06. WORKSHOP – Postindustrial Spaces In Cultural Use SPLIT
18.08.- 05.10. AIR-EXHIBITION Flowing Connections / Artist in Residence Exhibition KAUNAS
19.08. WORKSHOP – Inclusion of people with disabilities
– Concrete inclusion measures for the Kaunas exhibition
KAUNAS
04.10. PRESS CONFERENCE OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections KAUNAS
05.10. OPENING OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections KAUNAS
05.10.- 13.11. EXHIBITION OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections* * The realisation of the exhibition itself is financially supported by the funding institutions of the respective organising institution. Only the opening events are funded within the framework of the FLOC project. KAUNAS
02.12. WORKSHOP / WRAP-UP MEETING – Evaluation of the whole project
– Sustainability measures
DRESDEN
03.12. PUBLIC PRESENTATION – Panel talk with all partners
– Premiere of the FLOC Documentary Film
– Launch of the FLOC Booklet
DRESDEN

 

2020 

 

01.09 

PROJECT BEGINS 

 

 

25.09. 

KICK-OFF MEETING 

– Selection of Artists in Residence 

– Communication matters (Website, Logousw.) 

– Financial discussion 

Online 

 

12.10.- 

19.10. 

1. CURATORIAL MEETING 

– Visiting exhibition sites 

– Jury meeting, artist selection 

Dresden 

 

18.10. 

WORKSHOP 

– Digital Cultural Management  

– Financial training session for partners 

2021 

 

xx.02.- 

xx.02. 

2. CURATORIAL MEETING 

– Jury meeting, final artist selection 

– Positioning workshop, building discussions 

Dresden 

 

xx.02.- 

xx.02. 

WORKSHOP 

– Case study and brainstorming for the OSTRALE Biennale O21 

 

 

 

 

 

01.03.- 

19.03. 

FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (1) 

Anna Fabricius 

Dresden 

 

29.03.- 

16.04. 

FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (2) 

KOLXOZ Collective 

 

26.04.- 

14.05. 

FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (3) 

Gabriele Gervickaite 

 

24.05.- 

11.06. 

FLOC-ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (4) 

Melanie Richter & Kay Kaul 

 

 

 

 

 

xx.06.- 

xx.06. 

3. CURATORIAL MEETING 

– Artist assistance in build-up at the OSTRALE Biennale O21 

– Artist selection for Budapest and Kaunas 

Dresden 

 

29.06. 

PRESS CONFERENCE - OSTRALE Biennale O21 / 11h 

 

01.07. 

OPENING - OSTRALE Biennale O21 / 18h 

 

02.07 

PRESS CONFERENCE – FLOWING CONNECTIONS 

FLOC NETWORKING EVENT  

CLOSING CELEBRATION 

 

01.07.- 

03.10 

EXHIBITION 

OSTRALE Biennale O21* 

Solutions of the respective organising

 

Dresden 

 

xx.09.- 

xx.09. 

CURATORIAL VISIT TO KAUNAS 

– Visiting the exhibition venue of the Kaunas exhibition 

Kaunas 

2022 

 

03.02.- 

27.05. 

EXHIBITION 

OUT of OSTRALE O22 Budapest,  

Flowing Connections 

Budapest 

 

04.02.- 

05.02. 

WORKSHOP 

– Art Education and Audience Development 

 

 

 

 

 

xx.04.- 

xx.04. 

AIR-EXHIBITION 

Flowing Connections / Artist in Residence Exhibition 

Croatia 

 

xx.04.- 

xx.04. 

WORKSHOP 

– Postindustrial Spaces In Cultural Use 

 

 

 

 

 

xx.05.- 

xx.05. 

WORKSHOP 

– Inclusion of people with disabilities 

– Concrete inclusion measures for the Kaunas exhibition 

 

Kaunas 

 

20.05. 

PRESS CONFERENCE  

OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections 

 

22.05. 

OPENING 

OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections 

 

22.05.- 

28.08. 

EXHIBITION 

OUT of OSTRALE O22 Kaunas, Flowing Connections* 

* The realisation of the exhibition itself is financially supported by the funding institutions of the respective organising institution. Only the opening events are funded within the framework of the FLOC project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

xx.10.- 

xx.10. 

WORKSHOP / WRAP-UP MEETING 

– Evaluation of the whole project  

– Sustainability measures 

Dresden 

 

xx.10.- 

xx.10. 

PUBLIC PRESENTATION 

– Panel talk with all partners 

– Premiere of the FLOC Documentary Film 

– Launch of the FLOC Booklet 

 

 

Please note that exact dates of the planned activities might be subject to changes, especially regarding the current Corona pandemic situation. This timeline will regularly be updated when changes occur.

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM


Container works from the 2018 Artist in Residence program of OSTRALE Artists: Wim Vonk & Stef Fridael, Jana Rinchenbachova

In frame of the FLOC project, co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Commission, the OSTRALE – Centre for Contemporary Art is hosting an Artist in Residence program in its riverside base in Übigau-Dresden, in which 4 artists or artist duos spend three weeks in Dresden and develop artworks in 4 shipping containers, to be later exhibited in various frameworks for the duration of 2 years.

The Artists in Residence of the program are as follows:

01.03. - 19.03.2021 – Anna Fabricius (HU) / Art Quarter Budapest (HU)
29.03. - 16.04.2021 – KOLXOZ collective (TI-CZ) / Slobodne Veze (HR)
26.04. - 14.05.2021 – Gabriele Gervickaite (LT) / Kaunas 2022 (LT)
24.05. - 11.06.2021 – Melanie Richter & Kay Kaul (DE) / OSTRALE (DE)


REMUNERATION

The artist or artists working on the project receive an honorary of 1000 EUR per container, meaning that if there is more than one artist involved in the production of a container, they must split the honorary between themselves. The honorary should also cover living expenses of the Artists in Residence during their stay (apart from accomodation).

TRAVEL COSTS

Travel costs for a one-time round trip (from home to Dresden and from Dresden to home), with the cheapest available mode of travel, are reimbursed for the Artists in Residence by OSTRALE. Further travels during the residency period, if necessary, must be covered by their artists themselves.

ACCOMODATION


The OSTRALE Artist in Residence apartment in Dresden-Übigau

Artists in Residence will be staying free of charge in the Artist in Residence apartment situated in the new building of the riverside base of OSTRALE (Rethelstraße 45, 01139 Dresden-Übigau, Germany). It has a separate entrance, a big living space with a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and two separated sleeping areas. Electricity, hot water, TV and Internet connection are provided. Supermarkets, public transportation and other facilities are within walking distance. When arriving by car is the most ecological, sustainable way, parking can be arranged.

MATERIAL COSTS

Artists in Residence are strongly encouraged to work in a sustainable and ecologically friendly way and minimize the purchase of new items or materials for the production of their work. During their stay in Dresden, they are more than welcome to use OSTRALE’s ample supply of paint, wood, other materials and workshop equipment already available on site, as well as its tech pool for electronic and media devices. About specific needs and available supplies, OSTRALE will contact the future Artists in Residence before their arrival, who will also receive manual and technical assistance from the OSTRALE workshop team during their stay.

If, after a thorough examination of the resources and the ecologically sustainable use of materials, a material requirement of a financial nature should nevertheless arise, this can be redeemed up to 500 EUR per container. Such purchases, either done at the Artist in Residence’s home country and brought to Dresden or done on site in Germany, will be reimbursed in EUR by OSTRALE against receipts. Newly purchased materials or devices should be built into the artworks in the container, and if recoverable, will remain in the possession of OSTRALE even after the planned exhibitions and the dismantling of the containers. The 500 Euro material subsidy is intended exclusively for possible installation costs, always taking into account the exhaustion of existing resources under the aspect of an ecologically sustainable operation. It is not an addition to the artist honorary.

THE CONTAINERS

Modified art containers in their initial state

The containers to be used for the project are standard shipping containers altered for the purposes of the project. They are 6 m long, 2,5 m wide and 2,5 m high, equipped with one normal size door, two plexiglass windows (1130x2000mm and 700x2000mm), electricity and lighting. Artists are invited to alter and modify the inside and the outside of the containers as they wish, as long as the structural integrity of the outer shell is kept intact (no holes in the walls for example).

The finished containers should remain transportable, safe to the audience, and should be autonomous, meaning that in an exhibition context, they should need no more assistance than the turning on and off of the electricity and the opening and closing of the doors. It is important to note that the interior installations must always be installed in a stable and transport-safe manner and that the exterior may ONLY be pasted over or painted, since the containers with their contents will make several long journeys to the respective exhibition locations.

As the containers have no heating or air conditioning, artists should take it into account that during the summer, the inside of the containers can heat up to 50 ºC and during winter storage, they can cool down below 0 ºC depending on the weather. The materials used and the eventually built-in electronic devices should be able to withstand these conditions.

The containers will be situated either in the garden area of the OSTRALE building and the Artist in Residence apartment, or within walking distance. When handing over the finished containers to the OSTRALE team, Artists in Residence should provide a detailed technical documentation of the artwork to ensure the safety and operation of the works during the exhibition phase.

Click here to see the portfolio of OSTRALE’s MigARTion Project, a similar Artist-in-Residence program in 2018 with the same kind of containers

EXHIBITIONS

OSTRALE Biennale O21, Breathturn

13. International Exhibition of Contemporary Arts
Dresden 01.07. – 03.10.2021

Robotron-Kantine
01.07. – 03.10.2021

Zinzendorfstraße 5, 01069 Dresden
Wed – Fri 10am to 6pm and 6pm to 7pm evening ticket
Sat – Sun 11am to 7pm and 7pm to 8pm evening ticket
Entrance fee: 15 EUR (reduced price: 10 EUR)
Timeslot-reservation obligatory
Reserve your ticket here

Gedenkstätte Bautzner Straße
14.07. – 03.10.2021

Bautzner Str. 112A, 01099 Dresden
Mon – Sun 10am to 6pm
Prices and tickets here

Stadtentwässerung / Kläranlage Kaditz
06.07. – 03.10.2021

Scharfenberger Str. 152, 01139 Dresden
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 10am, 1pm and 3pm
Visit through guided tours with registration
Book your guided tour here

OSTRALE.Basis Übigau
17.07. – 03.10.2021

Rethelstraße 45, 01139 Dresden
Tue – Sat 12am to 6pm

BREATHTURN

In the rivers north the future / I cast the net (Paul Celan)

Being human is not enough, and already too much. Sometimes we act like robots, but want to feel like animals. How can we breathe and rethink work and pleasure, art and industry, politics and poetics, when everything flows into each other, like streams into a river? Is the whole planet our home or just the square meters we occupy?

Between disorientation and reorientation, to find new directions and avoid dead ends, we need to breathe differently. We have to change our perspective and pay attention to those at the borders of our field of vision: the misfits, the oppressed, and the unknown, but also biospheres, buildings and social spaces. At the gate of a new, post-pandemic era, exhausted but hopeful, curious and ready for a change, the OSTRALE in 2021 explores the ways we coexist with our fellow humans, animals and our complex environment.

Looking at the environmental, social and economic dynamics of the last decade (or, to put it bluntly, "the end of the world as we know it"), it is increasingly clear that the imperative of continuous growth and development is no longer a sustainable vision for our future, if we want one at all.

But even though more and more individuals come to this realization, the greater systems that govern our world and our societies seem less willing to change their ways. Sometimes it feels as if we are caught in a current against which it is pointless to fight, but swimming upstream seems more important than ever as we do not have as much time as would normally be needed for such fundamental cultural shifts.

The role of art in this context is problematic: should it serve as a means of to develop sensibility and empathy for a deeper understanding of these questions? Or would this be a restriction of artistic freedom and an invitation to propaganda? Is art a luxury of the developed world that should be abolished first when we reduce our consumption and limit our material needs? Or is it, on the contrary, the most important tool to survive and maintain our hopes in an otherwise hopeless and frightening world?

The OSTRALE Biennale in Dresden is the third largest international exhibition of contemporary art in Germany, which took place every year from 2007 on during the summer months and was changed into a biennale in 2017. It is not a sales exhibition per se, which gives us the freedom to discuss socially relevant topics regardless of market developments.

As "venue pioneers", the OSTRALE opens up unused industrial and cultural brownfields. First the exhibitions have taken place at various venues of the former slaugtherhouse complex of Ostragehege in Dresden, as well as other similar post-industrial venues all over Europe. After leaving the Ostragehege area, the OSTRALE Biennale in 2019 took place at the Historical Tobacco Factory f6 in the Striesen district and at 5 other decentralised locations in Dresden. This last edition welcomed more than 30.000 visitors in just over two months, 9.000 of them being students from Dresden and all over Saxony.

For the OSTRALE Biennale O21, thanks to the generous support of the real estate company Gerchgroup AG, a unique chance has been given the organizers to present the exhibition for the first time in the very heart of Dresden in 2021. The building is a witness of the Eastern Modernism („Ostmodern") and an often overlooked part of the architectural and social history of the city of Dresden.

The Robotron Kantine is the former company restaurant and one of the last standing buildings of the already demolished Robotron computer factory complex, once a crown jewel of technological innovation, but also of architectural optimism, in Dresden and in the whole DDR in the 1960s and 1970s. However, after the closure of the factory, its fate has been somewhat troublesome. For a while, it has served as a venue for various cultural activities and also as a rehearsal room for the nearby Semperoper, but in the last few years it has been standing empty in an ever deteriorating state. The discussion about its possible reactivation gained more momentum during the preparation phase of Dresden's application for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2025, in frame of which several new concepts were developed for the building. Now, as the city of Dresden is no longer in competition for the title, the future of the Robotron Kantine remains uncertain. Opening it up through art can pave the way to revive it as a cultural venue.

The year 2021 will see the first important steps in this direction, as Dresden's two leading organisations for contemporary visual arts, the Kunsthaus Dresden and the OSTRALE – Centre for Contemporary Art are staging temporary events in and around the building. First, artists invited by the Kunsthaus Dresden will activate the facades and the outer areas of the Kantine with their international art project North East South West. Then during the summer, the Kantine will serve as the main venue of the OSTRALE Biennale O21, presenting artworks from around 160 artists from all over the world, selected by an international team of curators from Croatia, Lithuania and Hungary, with the leaders of OSTRALE accompanying the jury.

Another important venue of the OSTRALE Biennale O19 will be the Stadtentwässerung Dresden (the city's waste water facility), right in the vicinity of the OSTRALE Center in Dresden-Übigau. The fascinating sites of the facility will serve as an exciting backdrop to the exhibited artworks, bringing science, industry and visual arts into an unusual dialogue. With its long-time engagement in environmental and climate issues and its programs to engage and educate young generations about the responsible handling of wastewater and natural resources, Stadtentwässerung Dresden comes as a natural partner for OSTRALE's current program, which also deals with the questions of our relationships to rivers, water, sustainability, and the broader connections between society, environment and the arts.

This theme is also the focus of Flowing Connections, a cultural cooperation co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, that plays a vital role in the organisation of the OSTRALE Biennale O21, especially when it comes to the curatorial process, the preparation and the opening of the exhibition. It also enables us to take a selection of the artworks presented in Dresden to exhibitions in Budapest, Rijeka/Split/Zagreb (Croatia) and the European Capital of Culture Kaunas (Lithuania) in the year 2022. The exhibitions are accompanied by other activities such as an artist in residence programme, workshops and symposia on issues of digitalisation, sustainability, communication strategies and inclusion.

Since April 2020, the OSTRALE.basis in Übigau Dresden is our new headquarters and an important venue for the artistic residencies of the Biennale! Every year, OSTRALE welcomes artists from all over Europe in its artist apartment, where they can stay and do their artistic research. The OSTRALE.basis is not only the "backstage" of the Biennale, but is also meant to be a social space for the community of Übigau where we plan to host a cinema salon, literary readings, artistic workshops and eco-sustainable activities. The community is invited to help shape the cultural program and participate in this process of urban renewal to activate this district with a vibrant cultural life. At the moment, "The Future Project" is running in the garden of the OSTRALE.basis, a series of creative workshops with students from the Art University of Dresden and Wroclaw for the creation of a sustainable art garden together with the children of the local children's house Sonnenschein. The OSTRALE.basis also offers local artists a platform for exhibition and project development.

Another cooperation partner is the Bautzner Straße Memorial Museum. A tour of the only original Stasi prison in Saxony shows how the state's repressive apparatus tried to eliminate its political opponents. The exhibition and impressive archive materials in the former office of the Dresden Stasi chief reveal the everyday life of the security service. The density of these historical spaces, combined with interactive exhibitions and eyewitness accounts, is unique in Germany. The intervention of the OSTRALE Biennale O21 confronts the historical context of the location with international contemporary artworks and aims to establish a dialogue between the past, the present and the future as well.

WORKSHOPS








DIGITAL CULTURAL MANAGEMENT

Time and place: Online, 2020 October 18
Hosting partner: OSTRALE – Centre for Contemporary Art
Invited expert: Sven Dämmig (independent software developer)

All cultural institutions in the art exhibition business are using digital tools one way or another to handle to organisation, communication, administration and logistics of their exhibitions: shared documents, servers, clouds, etc. However, these tools are quite often not exactly designed for the very special needs of these kinds of institutions. In the last few years, OSTRALE has developed its own online databank system to handle all these different kinds of tasks in an integrated and efficient way. From the start of the FLOC project, the delegated curators have been introduced to the OSTRALE databank, through which the whole process of applications, information management, jury decisions, communication with the artists, and the organization of the logistics and the positioning of the artworks is implemented. In the frame of this workshop, held in an online webinar form due to Covid restrictions, the developer of the OSTRALE databank, Sven Dämmig gave a more detailed insight to the partners in the functioning and technical background of the databank, its main features and possible development directions, as well as exploring the possibility of transforming this made-to-measure software system into something that could be later on offered to other cultural institutions as a product to help their digital cultural management work easier and much more efficient.


INCLUSIVITY MEASURES AT THE OSTRALE EXHIBITIONS

Time and place: Dresden (DE), 2021 February 24
Hosting partner: OSTRALE – Centre for Contemporary Art
Invited expert: Jan Blüher (VisorApps)

Making their art exhibitions as accessible for an as wide audience as possible has always been a core ambition of OSTRALE’s work. Throughout the years, this not only meant reaching out to specialized and often underprivileged groups (children, students, the elderly, young people with migrational backgrounds and refugees as well) with special programs and offers, but also in inclusivity measures towards people with physical disabilities. This included the wheelchair accessibility of the exhibition venues as well as the development of the OSTRALE AllSense mobile application, downloadable on smartphones but also available for use through devices that can be borrowed on site. This application helps blind people and people with seeing disabilities to navigate through the OSTRALE exhibitions and also provides audio material and sign-language videos (produced by the VIGEVO network of German sign language interpreters) with the description of a selection of artworks shown at the exhibitions. In the frame of the workshop, the participants met Dr. Jan Blüher, the developer of the AllSense app, who, being blind himself, has direct knowledge and experience on how art exhibitions can be perceived by people with seeing disabilities. He demonstrated how the system works and discussed further strategies and practices of the use of the software inside and outside the OSTRALE framework. Although due to the extremely short timeframe of the building of the OSTRALE Biennale O21, this system was not integrated into the Dresden exhibition in 2021, the possibilities to introduce this to the further FLOC exhibitions abroad in Budapest, Split and Kaunas are being explored by the project team.

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