Frequent comments on the invisibility and aloofness of the museum zone inspired us to design a project that would signal the presence of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in its neighbourhood, and also challenge the visibility of contemporary art in public space.
As a general topic of the project, space is referred to in multiple segments, encompassing areas that physically belong to the Museum, as well as those that are not official part of its display scope. We find ourselves in public space with the intention of meeting other people – neighbours, passers-by, strangers. By dividing the space in interior and exterior, we marked places we visit sporadically and intentionally and places opened to a walker without a particular target. We become part of random communication in the city streets, through a ten-day series of interventions, performances, lectures and conversations, both planned and unexpected encounters in the Museum’s vicinity. Relying on the model of a copula, by connecting utopian and practical scenarios we are trying to recognise physical and symbolic distances between individuals, and between individuals and institutions, as well as to stimulate processes of connection and mutuality. By means of public bids and calls we gathered around twenty artists, curators and other cultural workers, whose proposals reject traditional commemorative approaches and permanent sculptural solutions frequently seen in public spaces. The works advocate availability, simplicity and accessibility.
We encounter setting the matter straight with labels, status symbols and identifications accepted for granted; alternative maps of movement in space, twists in the reading of its structure and purpose. Also we see subject matters specific of the city of Rijeka, whose local focus serves as an observation point for a broader social and economic situation. The key notions – play, collective practices, social involvement – are the possibilities of escaping the status quo of social inaction and disappearance of public space, all of which will be discussed during two-day talks at the Mali Salon. Against the backdrop of increasing privatisation and retreats of the spaces of sociability, this project examines how this space can be used, considered, felt, bearing in mind that social components are both its starting point and its goal.
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union