Pilot program

From the Citizens to their City

The former center of the city that used to thrive with trade, traffic, and social and cultural activities, today is just a passing station on our way downtown. The passage in Križanićeva Street, Kontinental Hotel, Neboder Hotel, Strossmayerova Street, are just some of the old parts of Sušak, which have lost their primary functions over the past decades. They have transformed into problematic locales of sorts, which reflect all those neuralgic spots of the city policies. Nevertheless, this part of the city has not lost its inhabitants; it is still the place in which young people gather, the place whose hotels are still visited by tourists, and which gives rise to an alternative cultural scene.

It is precisely for the reason of reconciling the opposing interests of different groups, such as the youth who traditionally gather on the “Kont” square, and the tenants of Križanićeva and Strossmayerova St, and with the objective of finding a location in this particular part of the city that would be better adapted to the needs of its people, a series of small interventions will be launched at the end of October. These interventions will create conditions for a renewed formation of the community, conditions for a dialogue and an exchange of ideas that would revitalize the contents of this important part of our city.

The approach to the idea of the revitalization of Križanićeva Street is perhaps best explained in the memorable wall dedication standing at the very beginning of Križanićeva Street – From the citizens to their city / Rijeka 1983 – which presents an ideological framework of all events and the attempts of organization of events in and around this street. There is also an implicit objective of re-examining past and future cultural and art events in this street, with a self-ironic reflection on the position of art as a common good in public space and a (self)critical reflection of its protagonists and their position in the community deeply marked by ownership, deindustrialization and gentrification.  

The pilot program titled From the Citizens to their City, which is going to take place from October 26 to October 30, consists of artworks, art interventions and different events. The program opens with the performance of House Table by Tomislav Brajnović in collaboration with Rozarija Rodin Čače, the neighbor from Križanićeva Street, and a discussion on the co-authored art intervention by Una Rebić and Nikoleta MarkovićHouse Work, on Wednesday, October 26, at 19:00, at Kamov Studio in the passage of Križanićeva Street.    

House Table is an art event consisting of dinner prepared for all guests, in which the guests become the participants. The author insists on performing the conventions of a meal (food preparation and serving, vine, cutlery, the atmosphere…), in an effort to make the act of selling his “work” normal, expected, everyday – just like a meal. The discussion on House Work, which would be taking place simultaneously with the performance of House Table, is aimed at placing the focus of attention on the problems, dilemmas, decisions and politics of the very process of producing an artwork (in this case House Work) and thereby exposing the aspect which, due to the process of deciding on the final format of the work, often remains invisible, inaccessible and unquestionable.      

The performative part of House Work as a self-reflecting intervention that takes place in the symbolic space of Musagetes project and in the real space of Kamov Studio, will be delivered on Saturday, October 29, at 18:00, at the studio of Kamovresidence. It comprises a list of problems related to different functions and designations of spaces on the ground floor of Križanićeva 6A and the intentions and expectations of its (temporary) residents/users, presented in the form of the House Rules. House Work begins with the moment of naming, trying to make visible the politics of space and its use, inviting us to react (together).  

The workshop in short story writing, titled The City Talking Room, is intended for higher-grade students of elementary schools located in the vicinity of the passage and the neighboring area of the so-called Dead Channel. Guided by Jolanda Todorović on behalf of Kortil Gallery and Milan Zagorac on behalf of Književnost uživo magazine, the workshop is carried out in collaboration with Elementary School Centar and Elementary School  Nikola Tesla. The objective of the talking room is to open up a space for discussion for generational topics and contents that are important to school-children and to help these students acquire the skills of unobstructed interpretation. The workshop will be taking place throughout the entire October, and the plan is to organize one more session by the end of this year. As the result of this work, the stories of the participating students will be published on the web site of Književnost uživo magazine, and after the first selection is published, we plan to publish a brochure with the students’ stories on given topics, both in electronic and in printed form. Public reading of the students’ works is planned for Thursday, October 27, at 17:00, on the square in front of Elementary School Centar, and in the event of rain, the reading will be arranged at Kortil Gallery.  

The happening of “fishermen’s talk“, Fishing, is taking place on Friday afternoon of October 28, at the Students’ cooperative Skica,the association of students of Rijeka’s High School for Construction, artist Nika Rukavina, the group of musicians called Kud svi Turci, designers Leo Kirinčić and Marin Nižić, and Drugo More association. Fishingprimarily gathers Rijeka’s high school students, but it is open to everyone who needs the “fishing”, to the crowd that “hangs out” at Kont, to their parents, to random passers-by, to the sinful and the upright structures of the government, to the creative and non-creative classes; in short, it is open to everyone. The aim of this gathering is to express in public the desires and needs of the noisy and rude teenager population, which will take place in the form of oral and written complaints.

The workshop of the Benčić Youth Council titled (Re)creation of Križanićeva, made in collaboration with ArtMašina and artist Nika Rukavina, is planned for Saturday, October 29, and Sunday, October 30, from 9:00 to 16:00.  Križanićeva 6a is a sort of dislocated head office of the Benčić Youth Council. In the situation in which it is still not possible to work in the spaces of Benčić, the Benčić Youth Council fosters a relationship with the former sugar refinery complex by organizing occasional, but continuous interventions, while other activities occur in different places – they are dislocated to other parts of the city, with an epicenter in Kamov Studio. The workshop serves as an introduction to a comprehensive re-invention of the space of Kamov Studio. This re-invention will be happening throughout the upcoming year, and it will try to respond to the following questions: in what way does a space change in the process of its settling? What does participatory creation of a space look like? Members of the Benčić Youth Council will give their contribution to the activation of space in the form of practical work and art interventions, in indoor and outdoor spaces.

Pilot program From The Citizens to Their City aims to connect Kamov Studio, as a space for artistic activity, with its close neighbors, problematizing the social and communicational relations of this locus. It is carried out in the framework of a new project initiative, with the support of the Rijeka Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Musagetes Foundation from Canada.