CologneOFF 2012 Valencia
The name Valencia has an ambigous meaning to Wilfried. In 2008, he was participating with his curated exhibition “SoundObjects” in “Digital Media” @ La Nau in Valencia, one of the negative experiences to forget, at best immediately. But then, it is connected to the second visit in 2012 in a positive way, when Wilfried was invited by Empar Cubells, professor at The Politechnical University of Valencia to participate in the event she is organising – “The Hybrid Festival” @ La Naves (21-26 June 2012), a municipal art center. Empar Cubells is one of those video artists who joined Wilfried’s curatorial activities in their early phase in 2004/2005, when he had released VideoChannel – as a platform for curating art & moving images. In Valencia, Wilfried is presenting in the frame-work of the festival not only a selection of “ColognOFF VII – Art & the City”, but he is holding also a lecture/presentation to the audience of students.
And because he has contacts to another festival taking place at the same time in Valencia – Incubarte 2012, the festival director – Javier Marisco – invites Wilfried to be part of the jury for videoart, in this way Wilfried is learning something from the internal art related structures within Valencia.
Strangely enough, at that time Valencia hadn’t such a positive fame in German media, but Wilfried did not understand why some travelling journalists were neglecting Valencia an attractive place for tourists, so Wilfried finds the city as such with its history and the historical city center really exciting, but – even if Valencia has a kind of metropilitan character, it is provincial as well, not in its negative sense, but in this sense that everything is limited also the cultural structures of the city.
Particular, Incubarte Festival 2012 was showing itself as a devoted event, but it has just local relevance (according to Wilfried’s impression) and particularly the involvement of some international participants is demonstrating this assessment. The exhibition at MUVIM – one of the Valencian museums is reminding Wilfried of the exhibition of local artists he was participating 17 years old in when he was living in Esslingen (Southern Germany) where he grew up. It has the same athmosphere – and a similiar artistic quality. And even if there is a digital and video section. it has that devoted provinciality, which is very sympathic it is own way, but from Wilfried’s point of view – the structure, the concept and the way of organisation has no perspectives, a perception which will be confirmed some years later, because Incubarte will discontinue, and it is often like that, there is no new structure which might have the potential to replace the previous one – and then it is always the same – such initiatives depend always on its “maker”, a person who is deeply engaged in making such activities only possible.
For Wilfried, it is strange to see, that it is always the same, whereever in the world, also in his own case – when Wilfried will stop his activities once, there will be no follower, who might continue.
Empar Cubells (Valencia) & Elisabeth Ross (Mexico City)
But then during “The Hybrid Festival” , Wilfried will meet another participant – Elisabeth Ross, a Mexican performing artist, who joint later some of his projects. Wilfried will be spending some very nice days in Valencia, while in Cologne a desaster is cooking – a case at a court which – Wilfried is winning! When Wilfried had left Cologne for Valencia, it was not clear if the case of an attack on Wilfried’s life will succeed at the court. While Wilfried is sitting in his comfortable hotel room in Valencia, he receives the message, the authorities in Cologne confessed the attack.
MUVIM – Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad
Wilfried in Valencia (Photo by Elisabeth Ross)
Quiliano is a small town in the mountains Western from Genova (Italy). One day in 2006, Wilfried received the invitation to participate in a “netart” competition initiated by SACS – Spazio Arte Contemporanea Sperimentale (Experimental Art Centre) of Quiliano. Wilfried had never heard before of this place, but he appreciated the initiative of an art structure outside of the capitals. It is fatal if art activities are reduced mainly to spectacular events of the big art competitors like metropolitan museums of festivals. It is at least as relevant, that art initiatives on the countryside have their voice, as well as in realizing substantial art projects. In times, when the cultural budgets are continuously cut and finally only the institutions are funded which have the best lobby, it is even more important to encourage art activists outside of the metropoles to make that all people have the chance to participate in new developmenmts of art and culture.
In this way, it was no qwuestion for Wilfried to participate in two projects initiated by SACS.
Honestly has to be stated, that the term “netart” as it is used in both initiatives from Quiliano, do not correspond with that “netart” Wilfried was promoting since 2000 via JavaMuseum or projects like “Violence Online Festival” of “The RRF Project” – but it is allowed, of course, to re-interpret terms, even if the original meaning is vanishing completely.
Wilfried participates with two digital images. SACS gave a template of an image and the particpating artists had to re-interprete the theme by using, modifying or manipulating the image digitally. Both themes were related to Quiliano.