The Four Pilsen Streams

Since the very preparation of Pilsen’s entry into the competition for the European Capital of Culture title, we have been working with four themes: Arts and Technologies; Relationships and Emotions; Transit and Minorities; and Stories and Sources. Through the language of art, the Flagship Projects reveal the meanings of those themes related both to Pilsen and the European debate. We build on the heritage of personalities connected with Pilsen, using it as inspiration for looking into the future, as motivation for new ideas. The theme of Arts and Technologies also encourages communication with what is inherent to Pilsen and that is industry, crafts, and business. With this in mind, we are seeking a way to link these two worlds at the Centre for Support of Creative Business – the creative incubator at DEPO Cukrovarská. Relationships and Emotions refers to public space in the most general sense – what public space looks like (from art in public space to urbanism), how we treat it (from neighbours to city officials).

The theme of Transit and Minorities will be examining our relations with minorities living close to or far from us, certainly determined also by the fact that Pilsen lies on a busy route to Europe and is rich enough that it needs plenty of foreigners to live and work here. Stories and Sources are then the connection linking all the above themes. Without searching and exerting effort to understand our history, identity and memory, we are hardly able to look into the future. It is thanks to this theme that we can discover the hidden Pilsen and the Baroque treasures in its surroundings as well as explore our position in Europe!

The focus of the first stream of the programme, Arts and Technologies, is on the creation of sustainable jobs in the creative and cultural branch and the build-up of the city’s image in European contexts. We concentrate on the value of responsibility and promote the creative domain in general,, and matters such as skill and creativity more specifically. Here you will find a large retrospective exhibition of Jiří Trnka, a magnificent New Circus Season festival and a series of projects making reference to the industrial history of Pilsen, collectively titled Imagination Factories.

The programme stream Relationships and Emotions focuses on public space in general – the transformation of the physical public space in a collective effort with citizens, officials and architects – as well as on moderating a discussion of European issues.

The programme stream Relationships and Emotions introduces a Flagship Project under the title Public Space consisting of several component projects and stages: the Foster the City programme invites the public to engage in a discussion about public space and has been running since 2012; Melina Mercouri Day, presenting active initiatives in the city, has been held since 2011 and assumed an updated format this year – European Neighbours’ Day. The artistic programme will culminate in a presentation called Zen Pilsen – The City as an Exhibition. The second Flagship Project, Hidden City, is a broad participation platform as well as a tool for tourism innovation and services. An important part of the project is also our current effort to create a legacy in the form of a large archive, the content of which will be available for future reference.

The third stream of the programme, Transit and Minorities, shows the power of diversity and interculturality through projects centred on minorities and a series of moderated discussions, open workshops and exhibitions. The Flagship Project is simply named Lindauer and is comprised of three exhibitions. The West Bohemian Gallery is preparing an exhibition of Gottfried Lindauer. His portraits will be exhibited for the first time in Europe. There are a separate two further exhibitions based on the story of Gottfried Lindauer or drawing inspiration from his work.

The last stream of the programme is Stories and Sources, intended to promote tourism based on personalities connected with Pilsen, such as Adolf Loos and Ladislav Sutnar. It also attracts attention to the Pilsen Region where we utilise the riches of the vast Baroque heritage. 6 Weeks of Baroque, promoting the West Bohemian Baroque brand, was held in 2014, giving visitors a taste of the Baroque festival which in 2015 will be expanded to 9 Weeks of Baroque, filled with music, fireworks, tours and festivities across the Pilsen Region.