A Linz – Bilbao Arts Connection
A post-industrial society could be imagined as the metamorphosis of a city which shedds its skin from blackened industrial façades into architectural and artistic ones. From blast furnaces to shining titanium, electric neons and the service of a creative culture.
What is the future of arts and its agents in a post-industrial society? In a ‘media and services’ age?
The LinzIMPORT project ‘Shedding the Skin’ 2016-2017 established an artistic connection between the cities of Linz (AT) and Bilbao (ESP). Two cities alike share strategic stages of development and transformation: from heavy industries and ecological disasters to environmental and urban regeneration. On their stage, one city and the other have moulted their industrial casing revealing an exemplary machine and laboratory for the creation of artistic and cultural communities.
In the search of individual and collective expressions and identities, six experimental artists and a curator based in Bilbao were invited for an Artist in Residence programme in Linz with a resulting exhibition in architekturforum oberösterreich AFO.
The main goal of this project was the production of an exhibition in architekturforum Oberösterreich AFO. Artists were able to create their proposals and use the facilities of the hosting institution such as audiovisual equipment, wood workshop, kitchen and other resources for a relatively big scale exhibition. The works were exhibited in the main hall of the space and also in its basement.
During the opening visitors were guided by the curators and artists throughout the works and some performances took place during this happening. Among the invited artists to engage with our guests, graffiti artist Spek created a dedicated wall to the exhibition containing the credits and logos of the exhibition. Sound artist Enrique Tomás and local poet Tancred Hadwinger performed industrial poetry.
Besides the times of individual research and production that every artist developed, there was an agenda of activities related to the creation of artistic networking and dissemination of the project. This served to connect the scenes of Linz and Bilbao as well as countless encounters and discussions around the topic of post-industrialism.
Looking forward to offer local insight to the Resident Artists about the industrial to post-industrial transformation of the city and its present time, director of AFO Franz Koppelsttätter guided them through some of the most iconical and thought-provoking architectural buildings and constructions. We also organised together with the crew of Eleonore Schiff initiative and Stadtwerkstatt SWST, a boat tour down the Danube, from the cultural landscape to the industrial one. We invited artist Leo Schatzl and architect Christoph Wiesmayrto share with us their deep knowledge on the transformation of the river as the main transport and communication way for the Linzer industry.
Boosting the LINBAO conection
The project established a network-platform between the guests (artists and ROM) and Linz based cultural agents as AFO, STWST, Radio Fro and DorfTV , boosting cooperation and the creation of an audiovisual documentation, an archive and an exhibition. This pentagon set up a basic network-platform for fostering the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into the local culture, as well as its diffusion.
AFO as an Artist in Residence host, focused on the research and production of content, and the stage and frame for its exhibition.
Dorftv as an speculative TV-based format for some of the works to be produced and broadcast, framing some of the artistic proposals, producing audiovisual content of live performances and process approaches, interviews, therefore, an archive. Dorf tv as a partner collaborator with whom to produce interesting TV-art content together with.
Radio Fro, das Freie Radio in Linz, as a cooperation and Medienpartner of our LinzIMPORT-project, covering the process of the Artist in Residence as well as the performances and staging of the project. Radio as a medium to experiment with, to find different paths for transmission, different models of diffusion and communication of content. Radio as an experimental field. STWST as a cooperation partner covering facilitating Artist in Residence facilities in the industrial winter harbour of Linz. A boat where to host guest artists, artist talks and network meetings.
Noise Frühstück! Collaboration with Stadtwerkstatt SWST
Noise Frühstück! Happened as a collaboration event between ‘Shedding the Skin’ LinzIMPORT project and Stwst Stadtwerkstatt, starring Linz local noise artists and guest artists from Bilbao giving rise to much debate. What is the future of arts and its agents in a post-industrial society? In a ‘media and services’ age? Noise will be the medium and radio its experimental field.
Artists Blanca Ortiga and Laurita Siles held two workshops in Architekturforum Oberösterreich concerning collective memory, new geographies and the construction of new identities. In addition to the recovery of sustainable traditions, conservation and renewal of heritage respectively.
Project Report and Media Impact
Read (in Spanish).
- Dorf Tv report on Shedding the Skin exhibition. A talk with the artists: https://dorftv.at/video/27516
- Radio FRO interview: https://www.fro.at/shedding-the-skin
- Bilbao Art District + Bilbao Kultura presentation. Bilbao, April and May 2017.
Shedding the Skin interview to Karla Tobar for Bilbao Art District 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzy7sj-Lhac
Shedding the Skin interview to Amaia Vicente for Bilbao Art District 2017:
- Bilbao’s Council Culture Department Press Release (in Spanish): http://dev.iamalex.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/NP-BILBAO-LINZ_-SHEDDING-THE-SKIN_RED-COLABORACION-CULTURA-2017-06-13.pdf
Shedding the Skin was supported by: