United States of Europe – A travelling exhibition about European identity and today’s Europe

How is European identity doing? Does Mr O’Keeffe in Ireland feel more or less European than Mrs Stylianou in Cyprus? And how European do you feel? The artistic project United States of Europe (U.S.E) deals with these questions in the context of a travelling exhibition through ten European countries. The first exhibition will take place from November 14 till December 5, 2011 in Lodz, Poland under the patronage of the Polish Presidency 2011. This marks the start of a two-year long exhibition period.

Opening Lodz, Poland: November 14, 2011 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

United States of Europe (U.S.E), a large-scale collaboration project about European identity, will be presented in public spaces, galleries and museums in Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Portugal, Cyprus, Germany, Belgium, France, and Ireland till spring 2013.

The project creates a debate on and engagement in Europe, and offers assorted visual dimensions on European identity through diverse disciplines and angles. U.S.E consists of four elements: In the exhibition, art works (videos, photos, installations) are confronted with interviews from a sociological study. A multimedia laboratory – being an artwork in itself – combines documentary with artistic dimension and constitutes the heart of the exhibition. A complementary series of debates will discuss and reflect upon political, social and cultural aspects of Europe.

The artistic team embodies the main characteristic that is at the core of U.S.E: diversity. Three curators, Ryszard W. Kluszczyński (Poland), Anna Bitkina (Russia), Sinziana Ravini, (Sweden/France), have each selected a group of artists. The chosen artists have international and multicultural backgrounds and they all deal with identity questions. U.S.E presents works of Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), Anna Konik (Poland), Gerda Lampalzer (Austria), Maria Lusitano Santos (Portugal), Deimantas Narkevicius (Lithuania), Artur Zmijewski (Poland), Jean-Charles Hue (France), Kaarina Kaikkonen (Finland), REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (artist duo, Germany), Tanja Muravskaja (Estonia), Kennedy Browne (artist duo, Ireland), Apostolis Polymeris (Belgium), Kyriaki Costa (Cyprus) and Anu Pennanen (Finland). The multimedia artist Jānis Garančs (Estonia) created the interactive laboratory. It is a hybrid communication platform for Europeans that encourages visitors to exchange and interact in real time. Johanna Suo (Sweden/France/UK) has initiated the project and created the exhibition concept.

The sociological core team consists of Prof. Andrzej Piotrowski, Dr Tomasz Ferenc (University of Lodz) and Dr Lyudmila Nurse (Oxford XXI, UK).  Ten local sociologist teams have conducted five interviews in each participating country.

The debate in Lodz will concern a sociological aspect of the project:

‘Europeaness as a biographical experience and the importance of voices of ‘the many’ from a bottom-up perspective’.

U.S.E is a European collaboration, coordinated by the Goethe-Institut Paris; the University of Lodz, Poland; the Lasipalatsi Film and Media Centre, Finland; The Red House, Bulgaria; the Centre of Culture and Art Initiatives, Lithuania; Transforma, Portugal; The Pharos Arts Foundation, Cyprus; AIDA, Belgium; L’art au Quotidien, France and Cork Vision Centre, Ireland.

The project is kindly supported by IBIS Hotel Lodz, The City of Lodz, The Marshal’s Office of Lodz, Analogica Restaurant, Orange Property Group, Charles Leopold-Mayer Foundation, Volfoni and The Polish Presidency of the EU.

Associated partners: Galeria Manhattan, FabrySTREFA, Off Piotrkowska, Zona, The City Gallery Lodz, European Institute Lodz, Pro Cultura, National Sculpture Factory Ireland, Motorenhalle Dresden, European University Cyprus , Innovation Culture Europe,  City of Helsinki Cultural Office, VR Group, Meetingpoint@lasipalatsi, Library 10,Kanneltalo Cultural Centre, The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, European Cultural Parliament (List under development, we have a constant growth).

Practical information:

Press viewing: Monday November 14 at 2 p.m.

Opening: Monday November 14 at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (different times detailed below)

Exhibition duration Lodz, Poland: November 14 – December 4, 2010

Debate: 15 November 2011, 4 p.m., The European Institute at Lodz, ul. Piotrkowska 262/264

Venues, Lodz:

Zona – 3 Tymienieckiego St.    6 pm

Manhattan Gallery – 15 Wigury St. (entrance from Sienkiewicza St.) 6.45pm

Gallery – 118 Piotrkowska St. 7.30 pm

FabrySTREFA and Off Piotrkowska  – 138/140 Piotrkowska St. 8 pm

For more information please contact:

Karolina Tomczyk, coordinator, University of Lodz

Telephone: T. +48 42 635 47 52

E-mail: karolina.tomczyk@uni.lodz.pl

Project Management

Goethe-Institut Paris

Johanna Suo

suo@paris.goethe.org

Project website www.go-use.eu

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