Research Project, Public Art, Transborder Investigation. A collaboration between Daily Rhythms Collective and Kunsthaus Graz. Supported by the Region of Styria. Co-curated by Nayarí Castillo, Kate Howlett-Johnes and Francesca Lazzarini.
In Stories from the Edge, a two-year project to understand the relations between the neighboring countries, we developed a map of connections and places. The project’s interface was a portable studio—a camper van—that acted as a site of art production, social encounter, and hospitality maker in the form of a pop-up osmizza/buschenschank. Following the Adriatic coastline around the Gulf of Trieste and surroundings, the camper made a road trip through Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy, investigating the theme of hyper-identity through a plural and comparative method based on the participation of several artists and local communities. Taking the osmizza as a conviviality model and self-production, the project included six stations, setting up osmizza in Lignano, Grado, Portoroz, Rovinj, Porec, and Piran. More related to tourism in its initial phases, Stories from the Edge developed into a highly political statement around movement across borders. We witnessed the closure of the frontiers in the so-called “refugee crisis”, this transformed all projects into sensitive works around the theme. Three exhibitions summed the artists’ political impressions about the coastline, including views on the “Balkan route” in the unfolding crisis. The final exhibitions in Kunsthaus summarized the result of an itinerant strongly participatory project based on the dialogue between subjects conceiving art as a critical tool and means to create new connections, new meanings, and new ways of interpreting the world. The projects voiced the contradictions of “our European free borders.”