Košice’s Hall of Art offers particularly contemporary visual art

img_6485 copyKošice is gaining a new place and new possibilities for properly presenting contemporary visual art as is the standard in the rest of the world. The Kunsthalle/Hall of Art, known to Košice people as the old swimming pool hall, is one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in the town. It stopped functioning as a swimming pool after structural damage caused by the diversion of the River Hornad, an arm of which had flowed close to the building.

One of the investment projects of European Capital of Culture Košice 2013 was to save this monument and create a multi-cultural area. The original architectural layout make it ideal to use for organizing international exhibitions and workshops. The aim of the project was to maintain a connection of the world of culture with that of water both indoors and outdoors to build on its original historical function, but also to have a significant contribution to building the city. Water will be used in the form of dance and performing arts and new media.

“The refurbished Kunsthalle / Hall of Art is primarily an exhibition hall for contemporary visual arts on the international scale. For this year, we have prepared three presentations. The main exhibition is of British sculptor Tony Cragg, working in Wuppertal, a twin city of Košice. Another will be the exhibition of Constantin Brancusi, a classic in the world of modern sculpture, but whom we present as a photographer. The third exhibition is devoted to one of the key figures of the European Capital of Culture 2013 project, Argentinean multimedia artist Gyula Kosice, a native of Košice. He is generally regarded as a co-founder of op-art and hydrokinetics. He is linked to his hometown not only by his artist-name, but also by a work titled Statue for Košice, which will stand in front of the refurbished Kunsthalle / Hall of Art in Košice,” said artistic director of the Košice 2013 non-profit organization, Vladimír Beskid.

img_6503 copyIn September, Košice will play host to International Triennial of Contemporary Art, which should impact on the wider cultural infrastructure in the city. The main presentation will be at Kunsthalle / Hall of Art, Kulturpark and the East Slovak Museum in Košice. The accompanying events will be at the DIG gallery, Vojtech Löffler Museum and the ŠUV Rotunda exhibition hall. This should be one of the highlights of creative art for this season. During the Triennial in late September there will be a world congress of AICA – art historians and curators. In November there will be an exhibition of contemporary British art after Warhol, British Express, in partnership with the British Council.

“In the upcoming period, we would like to maintain a similar program and the standard we have set as well as the communication in the international environment. Our ambition is to create a strong new cultural point in Central Europe with a preference for contemporary art trends, but also intermedia and multi-genre events, where there will be periodic activities such as Triennial of Art, Days of Sound (Sound City Days), etc. Kunsthalle / Hall of Art is a very unusually laid out space with the possibility of using water directly in the main hall, therefore, it will require specific approaches and exhibition projects specifically designed for this space. The water level falls into one of the main project lines of Košice ECOC 2013 called the Košice elements – water, light, sound and new media. The main carrier of these will be, for the next three to five years, Kunsthalle / Hall of Art,” said V. Beskid, presenting his vision for the coming years.

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