META, the Manifest of Europe for Transformation through Art. The name of the project was a programme in itself. Nine years after its creation, the IN SITU network – with its project, META – intended to develop the idea of a societal function of art and artistic creation in public space while asserting its support in accompanying a humanistic project of contemporary European society.
For this project, IN SITU brought together 19 partners, 9 of which belong to an inner circle of decision-makers. The network covered 14 countries in the European Union and reached out appreciably towards Central Europe. Nothing less than five years were used to implement the ambitious actions focussing on three main themes: transformation, walking and the art of living together.
Each theme was placed under the benevolent eye of a personality from the world of the arts or ideas: the philosopher Bernard Stiegler, the producer Bob Wilson and the dramatist and General Manager of Kosice 2013, Zora Jaurova. Each theme offered a different means of exploring the convergence of art and the city: sparking and spectacular for the first, Aristotelian and pedestrian for the second and harking back to forgotten yet fundamental solidarities for the third, each on a European scale.
META could not fail to reserve a particular place for the European Capitals of Culture – Kosice (Slovakia) and Marseille (France). In 2013, IN SITU was heavily involved in numerous artistic actions. Creating, sharing, reflecting, confronting, giving meaning – in short, the five actions implemented by META intended to breathe new magic into public space.
Write "Side by side" for the European public space
An isolated location, a meeting in camera between the members of the network and the artists invited by each member, the aim of this seminar was to help European artists to refine their creation project through artistic discussions in groups of different sizes. In addition of writing aid, this was a key instrument for blending the aesthetics and forming a European community of artists.
First seminar in Graz (AT), 22-26 November 2011
Second seminar in Prague (CZ), 4-7 December 2012
Third seminar in Stirling (UK), 25-28 February 2014
Cities in metamorphosis, walking and shared cities
The city in metamorphosis, on foot, in common provided support for co-productions selected by the network as a whole and corresponding to the themes of the META project.
META gave rise to three large-scale European productions which transform the site on which they are performed. Emblematic of European art in public space and of the network itself, ambitious in artistic terms and with regard to public and media repercussions, they marked the life of the territories in which they were performed, beginning with the European Capitals of Culture 2013 – Marseille (France) and Kosice (Slovakia).
Walk in progress
Urban or rural circuit events explored the relationship between pedestrians and transport, new technologies and urban change. Each partner in the inner circle selected an artist who, after the premiere in his/her own country, adapted his/her circuit to the contexts of the European partners. The producer Robert Wilson acted as a mentor in this process.
The involvement of the inhabitants, conviviality, “know-how-to-party” and marginality: these are the three threads that the artists had to endeavour to weave together between the real city, the dream city and the disjointed or scarred city.
Embracing Europe primarily facilitated the circulation throughout Europe of the artists and works supported by the other META actions. This involved residence aid or translation aid for shows requiring additional work before being performed in a country other than that where they were created.
Europeans abroad aimed to create bridges with artistic and cultural partners outside Europe in the form of residences or coproductions. Calling on its experience throughout the European territoy, the IN SITU network offered its partners and artists the opportunity to enhance their practices by discovering the realities of other continents.
Artists caring for cities
Several meetings served as a forum for discussion with personalities from the worlds of ideas, politics, economics and the civil society in general concerning their vision of the modern city. Here are the previous and next meetings:
- Metropolis Laboratory in Copenhagen (DK), 7-9 June 2012: organized by Kobenhavs Internationale Teater in Copenhagen and the IN SITU network. This symposium put together artists, programmers, architects and city-planners to highlight the "Creative Cities" topic.
- Shared Cities in Kosice (SK), 23-24 May 2013: organized by Kosice 2013 - European Capital of Culture and the IN SITU network. This conference endeavored to understand how, through participatory and inclusive approaches, artists and programmers working in public space succeed in helping citizens reconquer their territory.
- Invisible Walls in Marseilles (FR), 3-4 October 2013: organized by the IN SITU network, Lieux pulics, Relais Culture Europe, the British Council and Circostrada. This European Forum will focus the debate on artists and creative experiences in order to provide solutions to the challenges facing contemporary European society.
- Metropolis Laboratory in Copenhagen (DK), June 2014: organized by Kobenhavs Internationale Teater in Copenhagen and the IN SITU network.
Nine co-organisers, including 3 new members, gathered together to implement the META 2011-2016 project.> www.ctyridny.cz
These structures members of the IN SITU network joined the META 2011-2016 project as partners: their involvement within the project targeted the touring of the creations initiated by the co-organisers.> www.lestombeesdelanuit.com
- Lieux publics, Marseille, France
- Atelier 231, Sotteville-Lès-Rouen, France
- La Paperie, Angers, France
- Teatri ODA, Pristina, Kosovo
- Les Tombées de la Nuit, Rennes, France
- Provinciaal domein Dommelhof, Neerpelt, Belgium
- UZ Arts, Glasgow, The United Kingdom
- Oerol Festival, Terschelling , The Netherlands
- La Strada, Graz, Austria
- METROPOLIS, Copenhagen, Denmark
- 4 Days, Prague, Czech Republic
- Artopolis Association , Budapest, Hungary
- Østfold kulturutvikling , Fredrikstad, Norway