copyright Alice Evans
za 24.07 - za 16.10.2010
auteur: Danielle van Zuijlen
When Guests Become Host is an ongoing research project looking into artistic strategies for “finding hospitality” in the public domain. Three collectives were invited to propose and realize projects in the city of Porto. The architects of Supersudaca and the artists of WochenKlausur have installed their offices in the exhibition space of Culturgest, where they develop proposals for Porto in close collaboration with local participants. Supersudaca is researching 100 places, events and rituals that have already disappeared from the city, seeking to bring them together in the form of an alternative guidebook. Entitled Too Late!, this guide rejects the way cities tend to be branded, sold and consumed as merely tourist products. WochenKlausur examines the reasons behind the many empty and rundown houses in the city centre, introducing a model for low-budget renovation by students, who are rewarded with the right to free housing. During the opening of the exhibition, WochenKlausur will organise a panel discussion on the phenomenon of vacant buildings in the Porto city centre, its relationship with the city’s cultural heritage sites and possible solutions to this problem. Freee has placed slogans in the windows of a shopping street, bringing these same slogans back into the gallery on billboards and balloons, “calling up a new world to take its place”. When Guests Become Host aims to provide an insight into the strategies used by the participating collectives to turn critical ideas into a relevant part of the public domain.
On the participating collectives:
WochenKlausur (Austria) works at the invitation of art institutions on developing and implementing small, but very concrete proposals for improving socio-political shortcomings. In keeping with the work of many twentieth-century artists who understood how to actively take part in the shaping of society, WochenKlausur sees art as an opportunity for achieving long-term improvements in human coexistence.
In an almost stubborn way, the Latin American architects’ collective Supersudaca refuses to believe that the only area left for architects to work in is the building of villas for rich people. Supersudaca connects the architectural arena with critical research and actions directly related to public perception, often using the workshop format to work with students from universities all over the world.
Freee (United Kingdom) is a collective composed of three artists (Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan) who work together on slogans, billboards and publications that challenge the commercial and bureaucratic colonisation of the public sphere of opinion-making. Freee occupies the public sphere with works that take sides, speak their minds and divide opinions.