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12 Artists, 8 Curators, 6 Art Spaces, 4 Countries: Together to create a Positive Change in the Art World. But how can an Art Project be both International and Sustainable?

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Emerging from the pandemic many of us are questioning how we can adapt things to improve the structures we rely on. The events of the last year, with the difficulties of the cultural sector and the environmental emergency we are living, have proven this to be essential. 

Already in a pre-covid world, in 2018 a report published by Kunstenpunt pointed to the need to rethink the arts. We must collaborate internationally, but also consider economic and environmental sustainability. 

One particular project coming out of the pandemic aims at making this mission its core: BREAKING BOUNDARIES. Running a full year – from September 2021 to September 2022 this project brings 12 artists, 8 curators, 6 art spaces and 4 countries together to make a ‘positive change’ in the Art World.

 

Jolien Dirix, Breaking Boundaries: 12 Artists, 8 Curators, 6 Art Spaces, 4 Countries, 2021, Courtesy of BREAKING BOUNDARIES.

 

BREAKING BOUNDARIES was launched through a crowdfunding campaign by the non-profit foundation The Artist and The Others in collaboration with eight curators. It has been described as ‘an opportunity to connect’ and restart’ by one of the curators Lucia Trevisan of a.topos in Venice, and Jessica Capra curator, coordinator of the project and founder of The Artist and the Others. 

In fact, BREAKING BOUNDARIES answers the need for a project which connects internationally after a year of separation and struggles. As well as this it truly supports artists and art professionals in a world which hardly ever pays fairly and equally. But it also keeps environmental sustainability in mind, at a time when rising emissions are greatly connected to international travel. 

 

Willem de Haan, World News, 2021, Courtesy of the Artist.

 

How to do this? It is definitely an ambitious goal…

BREAKING BOUNDARIES is ‘a first step in the right direction’ as Jelmer Wijnstroom explains, curator of the Patty Morgan Showroom in Amsterdam – one of the art spaces which will host the travelling project. 

From a financial point of view, this project follows fair-pay guidelines, adopted by some of the biggest museums but still an issue for many institutions. The budget has also been built around the transportation of the works.

The works will be transported in a specially designed crate which this year has been made in collaboration with artistsJan Dirk Adams and Suzie van Staaveren. This crate, strictly not weighting over 31.2 Kg to keep costs to a minimum, will travel to the six art spaces – starting from Turkey, then The Netherlands, Italy and Germany. In turn the curators will host and adapt the exhibition to a different art space, the cultural context, integrating their own sensibility and perspective.

 

Suzie van Staaveren, Het Compromis, 2019, Courtesy of the Artist.

 

The twelve international artists are: Gözde İlkin and Sevim Sancaktar from Turkey; Miriam Salamander and Janina Totzauer from Germany; Simone Miccichè, Giulia Cacciuttolo, Eva Chiara Trevisan and Giulio Polloniato from Italy; and Tjobo Kho, Anne Büscher, Willem de Haan and Suzie van Staaveren based in The Netherlands. 

They have been selected by the eight curators who will host the travelling exhibition: Turkish curator Ezgi Bakçay of Karşi Sanat in Istanbul (in Turkey); Dutch curator Davy van Gerven and curator for De Meldkamer in Maastricht, Dutch curator Jelmer Wijnstroom of the Patty Morgan Showroom in Amsterdam (both in The Netherlands); Italian curator Federica Fiumelli of Officina 15 in Castiglione dei Pepoli, Italian curators Fernanda Andrade and Lucia Trevisan of a.topos in Venice (both in Italy); and Italian curator Jessica Capra and German curator Sophie Charlotte Bombeck of Super+ Centercourt in Munich (in Germany).

 

Anne Büscher, Tea Ceremony, 2021, Courtesy of the Artist.

 

Sevim Sancaktar, Voids of Lemon Peel, n.d., Courtesy of the Artist.

 

By participating in BREAKING BOUNDARIES, these 20 professionals become part of an international network. This will support the artists’ professional development by helping them build their name and gain recognition – but also get the indispensable international exchange and dialogue we have all been missing so much.

Moreover, in BREAKING BOUNDARIES the participating artists get to exhibit both internationally and locally, in person or virtually. The ‘hybrid model’, which relies on the network of connections, limits the travel needed for an international project. In other words, a greener proposal than those we are used to seeing.

With the crowdfunding campaign aiming to reach at least two-thirds of the total budget of €11,000 by the 18th of July, shouldn’t we all help to BREAK BOUNDARIES?

 

Tjobo Kho, Dravings on envelope, n.d., Courtesy of the Artist.

 

Cover image: Jolien Dirix, Postcard Map, 2021, Courtesy of BREAKING BOUNDARIES.

Written by Zoë Rivas Zanello

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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