This publication looks back at the last four years of IN SITU, the European platform for artistic creation in public space, led by Lieux publics, European and national centre for artistic creation in public space. The IN SITU ACT cooperation project was launched in November 2016 thanks to the support of the European Commission. This new project continued the adventure started in 2003 with European programmers passionate about new aesthetics and the challenges associated with public space.
The last four years have been filled with artistic encounters - the very thing that has kept IN SITU going for the past 17 years! Firstly, encounters between artists and programmers, who get to know one another and understand the aspirations of artists and the challenges facing each region in order to adapt artistic projects to each context. Secondly, encounters between artists to create synergies, provide mutual inspiration, share questions about contemporary creation in public space and sometimes even to work together. And finally, encounters between artists and audiences in order to transform everyday life, whether through a project involving inhabitants several months in advance or a performance bringing in festival-goers or onlookers. Art in public space is unique because it also targets people who rarely, if ever, visit cultural venues.
In the following pages, you will discover projects of artists who benefited from artistic laboratories (“Hot Houses” and “Ateliers”) where artists and organisers spend several days working on artists’ creations, the “International Residency Programme” which helps artists find the right context within the network to develop their projects, support for “Transnational Mobility”, long-term support for “Pilot Projects”, the creation of the MOOC Create in public space - the first of its kind - and the implementation of local artistic experiments known as “Artistic Acupuncture”, an initial step towards strengthening ties with civil society.
You can read this book in any order you like. It offers just a brief overview of the 250 IN SITU artists, with a focus on those supported under the IN SITU ACT programme. Not all artists are presented here and we hope that those we missed will forgive us. The purpose of our selection is to reflect the diversity of formats, aesthetics and new trends, which is what truly makes the network what it is today.
The context has changed over the last four years, with Brexit, increased security in public space, declining funding, a rise in popularism and greater awareness of fundamental global issues, such as the need to preserve our planet and fight for gender equality. All these changes have impacted IN SITU and the artists, who immerse themselves in everyday life so as to be better able to transform it. The network is also changing, as it becomes clear that public space faces the same issues as society, and that art is not excluded from these transformations, but is actually part of it.
On the cusp of a new era, the partners continue to work diligently with artists and audiences. They have been working hard on the future of IN SITU, to ensure the sustainability of the network and the support it offers artists. We will keep you posted soon. Until then, sit back and let the artists take you on a journey!
The IN SITU partners & team