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Diversity Mixer, News

Sound Installation at Korzo Problematises Plight of Artists in Society

The sound installation’s catchy title is “Što vi hoćete, dobit pare ili dat ideje?” (“What is it y’all want anyway, to get some quid or to come up with ideas?”). It can be heard from 8 to 15 January 2020 from the loudspeakers installed at the Rijeka Korzo from 10 am to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm.  Considerations and thoughts on the plight of artists in our society will be heard from the loudspeakers at the times specified above.

The sound installation directed by Marin Lukanović came into being as part of the Diversity Mixer EU project, which is implemented jointly by RIJEKA 2020 and the Academy of Applied Arts of the University of Rijeka, in cooperation with the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The research phase of the project, implemented during last year by Sanja Bojanić, Marin Lukanović, Kristina Stojanović Čehajić, Kristina Smoljanović and Marko Luka Zubčić, will be presented in a publication entitled “Time and Risk Produce Quality”.

The installation, having sprang up from interviews with twenty cultural and creative workers from Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, singles out some of the most interesting thoughts and considerations on the plight of artists in our society, the attitudes towards work, educational policies in the creative domain, the precariat, the valorisation of work, the attitude of the audiences towards culture, landing jobs through pulling strings, and similar topics.

“What we have learned from the research is that cultural workers, those belonging to the younger generation in particular, increasingly have to face precarious forms of work. The system of education and training is underdeveloped and not providing sufficient room for them to pursue their development, but the research has also helped us gain a better insight into some self-critical concepts such as passivity, dependence and an overall unwillingness to take risks”

, said Sanja Bojanić, Head of the Diversity Mixer project.

Notwithstanding the fact that the project was aimed at exploring some of the more serious issues permeating culture and the cultural industries, the authors wanted to share one particular segment of the research findings with our citizens, and to do so in a rather unconventional fashion, which resulted in the materialisation and ultimately the realisation of the idea of setting up a sound installation at Korzo, the lifeline of Rijeka, and a sort of a living room of its citizens.

“One of the ideas was to familiarise our citizens with culture and to bring them closer together by meeting them where they are, rather than inviting them into the confined space of a gallery or institution. This is how culture gets to mingle with the citizens in their everyday life, which was actually the main point of this whole endeavour, and I firmly believe that this idea is also woven into the European Capital of Culture project in its entirety”

, Marin Lukanović pointed out.

This opens up a whole new avenue of meanings and considerations on the cultural production system and working in culture. In this great year of culture, nested within the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project, this installation is a representation of a self-reflective perspective, which is as critical towards the system as it is towards the CCI workers themselves.

The anonymised interview excerpts used in this installation are read out by young actors – graduates of Rijeka’s Academy of Applied Arts, Sara Blažić, Jurica Marčec, Anja Sabol and Deni Sanković – who have themselves only recently begun to tread the precarious waters of the world of art, which imbues the statements with an added whiff of authenticity.



Sara Blažić and Deni Sanković pointed out that the texts they had read out resonated with them and they both agreed that the crux of the matter is perfectly encapsulated in the title of the sound installation “Što vi hoćete, dobit pare ili dat ideje?” (“What is it y’all want anyway, to get some quid or to come up with ideas?”)

“Since we both graduated from the Academy about a year ago, thus far we have encountered a number of the difficulties that culture workers have to face in the labour market. We felt as if all these texts were written by ourselves and our colleagues. Speaking out on this issue is of vital importance, and setting up the sound installation in the immediate city centre is a commendable step forward towards salvaging culture from the margins of society and putting it front and centre, both physically and in terms of consideration”

, said Blažić and Sanković in unison, who in spite of all the odds remain optimistic regarding this issue.

The Cooperation between RIJEKA 2020 and the University of Rijeka in the “Diversity Mixer – Policies and Practices in the Cultural and Creative Industries” project under its Kitchen of Diversity flagship begun in 2018, and according to the words of Lela Vujanić, Programme Manager of the Kitchen of Diversity flagship, this research was used as a sort of a litmus test of the true factual conditions in the field.

“A Diversity Mixer conference was held during last year, with the participation of international, national and local experts in the field of culture, and this year will see a continuation of our efforts to give concrete expression to this project. Our main objectives are centred around fostering diversity and putting a curb on inequalities in the cultural and creative industries. Our further plans include the organisation of workshops in a variety of cultural institutions and organisations, which will hopefully serve as a catalyst for fostering diversity, which must be one of our main strong points”

, concluded Vujanić.

The publication “Time and Risk Produce Quality” will be presented in Opatija, at a conference organised by the University of Rijeka, which will be taking place from 10 to 13 March of this year.