The European Pavilion is a new initiative by the Amsterdam-based European Cultural Foundation that aims to support arts and cultural organizations to share their experience of Europe. In identifying urgent issues, emerging from their local and regional context as well as from their work, these organizations, or European Pavilions, help bring local perspectives to the European stage and bring Europe closer to its communities and their realities.
Since 2007 Brunnenpassage is a decentralised, transcultural space for contemporary art located in a former market hall with around 400 events per year.. We are working in a transdisciplinary, post-national and participatory way. We create new collective spaces for a heterogeneous audience. We work in partnerships with established cultural institutions in the center of Vienna, such as national theatres, concert halls and museums. The Brunnenmarket area is an European island in the middle of a metropolis, with a unique atmosphere and a very diverse population. People from diverse backgrounds reside, live and work here; it is Europe in a nutshell.
Brunnenpassage acts a as a laboratory for transcultural aesthetics and ‘post-migrant’ artistic processes within a broad local network of cultural associations, institutions and initiatives for migrants, as well as with local politicians, places of worship, youth centers, and schools. The team members’ diversity and their equal cooperation, as greatly as possible, are significant factors in Brunnenpassage’s success. The diversity of languages spoken in the team of Brunnenpassage and by the involved artists facilitates the invitation of participants and visitors on the individual level. A vast range of languages is represented by the Brunnenpassage team—employees, technical help, and volunteers.
Each curatorial process is preceded by several fundamental pivotal issues: Who is speaking? Whose story is being told and from whose perspective? Who manages the art production? What are the conditions of production? What time frame is planned for research, for entering into a relationship with residents and gathering and creating stories? How can people with a wide variety of perspectives and biographical experiences be involved?
The content at Brunnenpassage takes up current debates and frequently includes themes related to migration society, such as discrimination and societal exclusions. Through all these way, we promote a recognition of heterogeneity and thereby become more widely accessible. Increasingly, digital media are applied, and new formats are developed. Story:Telling! Europe, our project within the European Pavilion, stimulates imaginaries beyond the national, involves people from marginalized groups, invites to tell hidden stories and to dream.