Curator's statement by Weronika Szczawińska and Marta Keil
The kick off meeting enabled us to ask questions – we have started with some, but the discussions held in Athens opened a new space for them. We do find them necessary to guide our way as curators.
A general remark:
There is no concept of identity as such. While talking about identity one should always specify and name the context. Identities tend to be tricky when treated in general. Distinctions seem to be crucial in the process of framing possible areas of our work. It is always important to ask: what kind of identity are we discussing at the moment? For example – the identity of dance as an art form? The myth of national identities? The much-cherished dream of a private, authentic self? Are we discussing the various emanations of this notion or the way they are performed by our societies?
What about the notion of the East and the West or the former East and the former West? It is definitely visible in the political, social or economic context of art production – the political and economic history of Europe influenced a lot the system of producing art in different countries. But does it refer in any way to artistic work – except its production context?
What is the link between the notion of identity and the concept of the past? How does it work in different cultural contexts?
Is it possible to redirect the connection towards the future? Or, rather, see the identity in the perspective of the past, the present and the future?
How to cooperate in a group consisting of people coming from different backgrounds and avoid both superficial intercultural contact and a colonialist view?
How to help the artists establish the frame of their work without being intrusive?
What does it mean to be an Eastern, a former Eastern, a Western, a former Western artist? Is the concept of Eastern and Western Europe worth referring to in one’s artistic work? Is the notion of East and West applicable to the current situation in European performing arts? What does East and West actually mean? What is the local context of artistic work in the nomadic contemporary times?