A4 – SPACE FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
Atrakt Art is one of the co-founders of A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture, an independent, non-commercial centre for contemporary culture in the centre of Bratislava. It is oriented towards creation, presentation and education in present-day forms of theatre, dance, music and film, contemporary visual culture and new media art. Project A4 – Zero Space is the result of the efforts of several civic cultural organizations throughout the past several years to create a centre for the support and presentation of contemporary artistic expressions in the performing arts, music and new media, supporting dynamic and innovative artistic productions. Under one roof it gathers together already existing activities aimed at similar target groups but at the same time it enlarges and transforms them into an effective working open multimedia space, which meets the needs of the inhabitants of the capital of Slovakia. The work of the cultural centre is carried out by A4 – association for contemporary culture which was established in 2003 by several civic associations: The Contemporary Dance Association, Atrakt Art – association for contemporary art and culture, Burundi Datalab Studio Displej Press and The Association for Contemporary Opera. The project is put into effect in cooperation with NOC (National centre for public education) and The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, with the support of other organizations such as Goethe Institut, Polish Institute, Czech Centre and others. A4 functions also as a production and communication node supporting innovative artistic forms.
A4 – Zero Space includes the following activities:
THEATRE – A4 is the home stage of the authorial theatre group SkRAT and also open stage for guest Slovak and foreign theatre ensembles. Theatrical production and dramaturgy in A4 is mainly the responsibility of the Association for Contemporary Opera with its authorial theatre group SkRAT, for whom A4 is the home stage. SkRAT theatre performs and creates its shows here regularly, and together with other activities promoted by A4, it strengthens the theatrical identity of the space with a well-marked dramaturgy focused primarily on authors’ projects. During this theatre season we have presented the spectacles Guinea-Pig, What will be tomorrow, Central Europe Loves You, Windows, Shores, Inheritance and The Last Flight. Staging the evolving “A Hungry Person Doesn’t Trust the System” was a very interesting project. One encouraging aspect of last season’s programme is that no show was cancelled through lack of interest. There has been a noticeable increase in audience interest. Several visiting theatre troupes performed in A4 – Disk Trnava, Z divadlo Zelenec and Dekadentní divadlo Beruska (CZ).
DANCE – performances of contemporary scenic dance and physical theatre, open space for independent artists, choreographers and interpreters and also for quest soloists or ensembles.
Performances of contemporary scenic dance and physical theatre continue in the activities of the Contemporary Dance Association. They have welcomed the opportunity to present their artistic production in A4 because it is the only place in Bratislava systematically providing space for the practice of contemporary dance, physical theatre and performing arts. Within six months, 16 dance productions were performed some of them created in and explicitly for this space. All of them received mostly a positive response. Besides Slovak artists we have also invited dancers from the Czech Republic. Dutch actors/dancers proposed projects with A4 themselves. In all, there were artists from five different countries participating in dance projects in A4.
MUSIC – regular presentations of innovative and live musical performances exploring the boundaries between contemporary classical music, improvised, experimental and electronic music, avant-garde jazz and alternative rock music. The musical dramaturgy of A4 builds on the previous activities of Atrakt Art association and association For Contemporary Opera enriched by the initiatives of other groups and organisations. Successful cooperation with foreign embassies and cultural institutions (Czech Centre, Goethe Institut, Pro Helvetia, The Royal Netherlands Embassy) made it possible to integrate A4 into the international network of cultural organizations promoting high-quality contemporary music.
CINEMA – film and video screenings of contemporary cinema for the discerning viewer, artistic documentaries, digital videos, animation, musical and experimental films. The concept of the cinema program is quite unique in Slovakia because of its character and approach that is different from both the classic movie theatre and film club. Cinema in A4 is open to various forms and interpretations of the moving image and it emphasizes works which are exceptional by their creativity but unavailable to the public in the ordinary distribution network. Regular public screenings of the works of audiovisual art in A4 present the whole range of contemporary feature films, documentaries, experimental and digital cinematography apart from commercial and officially available works of Slovak, European and non-European film makers. Its distinctive feature is a more interactive approach to the viewer, in the form of evenings with film-makers, introductions, presentations, workshops and meetings with authors, theoreticians and guests.
During the short existence of audiovisual club we have managed to establish a network of interesting contacts with film-makers, theoreticians, academics, producers and organizations from Slovakia as well as from abroad. Audiovisual club entered A4 space as a project promoted by Atrakt Art association with its first screening on 25th January 2004.
NEW MEDIA ART – production, presentation and education in the creative use of new technologies. Systematic focusing on contemporary art, which is characteristic of A4 – zero space, requires also reflection on, and the realization of, projects focused on new media, digital technologies, electronic art and related genres. The separate centre Burundi which has been created within A4 continues the activities of former gallery Buryzone. Association Burundi runs a media library (datalab), a gallery (displej), space for the realization of projects (studio) and an information media source (press). A cycle of expositions of screen media and first screenings within the framework of “The Community telly” programme (including films, documentaries, projects, etc.) started in April 2004 in gallery BURUNDI dispej. A programme of streaming and music projects and educational workshops in the field of digital technologies (this year focused on open source strategies) has been opened. Several activities relating to street art and psycho-geography have taken place. A media library with a number of materials on contemporary culture and new media has been made accessible to the public. BURUNDI has also continued editing an information mailing list on art and culture (buryzone.info). In the field of new media, Burundi has collaborated with other parts of the A4 association, too, primarily with the Atrakt Art Association.
A4 – Associations for contemporary culture was established in 2003 by four civic associations operating in the domain of contemporary art:
– Association for Contemporary Opera
– Contemporary Dance Association
– Atrakt Art – association for contemporary art and culture
– Burundi Datalab Studio Displej Press
A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture
Karpatská 2 (YMCA), 811 05 Bratislava
info (at) a4 (dot) sk