Interview with Judy Straten, curator of CityLiv 2016 and owner of Judy Straten CCR: art – design consultancy; Consulting l Connecting l Realising
Beata Bruggeman-Sekowska: Judy, you were the curator of the 4th edition of the CityLiv culture event. Before we start with the 4th edition can you elaborate a bit on the idea of CityLiv. What is behind the idea?
The idea behind CityLiv is to create a platform for young creatives to experiment and develop new concepts and products by reusing building or construction materials. These materials are sources coming from the urban mining; demolition or renovation of buildings. There is still a gap in the creative sector between education, practice and manufacturing. So CityLiv’s goal is to build a bridge between educational institutes, the creative sector and the manufacturing industry. By doing this you can reach a circular system. Yearly CityLiv is an event where the audience can experience the outcoming of the experimental activities or developed concepts with reuse material.
You provided the 4th edition of CityLiv with new impulses, ideas, emotions, you connected creative disciplines with several fields of work. Tell us more about CityLiv 2016.
CityLiv 2016 was next to reuse of material more about social sustainability. I have chosen for the theme Ontheemd (Being displaced). It’s not only referring to the refugees issues, but also to the society we are living in. The digital era with social media and online mentality where people have to reposition themselves, where people are becoming more lonely and shut down from the world. But also a multicultural society where many cultures have to adapt to each other. Where could you fit in as an individual? How can you adapt in the world, city without losing your indentity? But I didn’t want to show only the ugly things, I also wanted to show that with collaboration, with all us together we can change things for the better. To give hope.
When we walked together through the experience route I was really moved by the concept of ‘’displacement’’ which was so painfully realistic and tangible in 6 houses of the exposition.The art was so interactive due to combination of images, music, scents, colours, light/lack of light and life performances and therefore so tangible, right to the bone. What were the impressions of your audience?
With the opening of CityLiv we asked Joost Vrouenraets to perform. He did his performance at House 1, Home by Erol Oztan. The concept of Home was that if you had to leave your house, your home behind, how would you feel. Joost gave a very intense and emotional dance performance where people got emotional. The message came directly into your heart. Also the performances of Marie van Vollenhoven en Shahib Simba Sidow were very confronting. The performances were about Shahib and his life here in the Nehterlands. Waiting for 20 years before being aknowledged as refugee.
Somebody who walked the experience route thought the wanderer who was sitting in front of one of the installations was part of the tour. When she realized the man was homeless she felt really ashamed that this was happening in her own city. It was a kind of an eye opener for her that displacement is a reality, she became aware of.
House 6, The Hope algea installation by Tim Scheffer was an interactive installation and kids really enjoyed it. Everybody could inject algea seeds into the thermopane panels. Passing the week the water became fluorescent green while the algea was growing. Giving a brider and greener future for all.
When you now look back on CityLiv in 2016 what are your personal impressions and ambition for the future?
Of course we had many learning moments during the proces of CityLiv 2016. Some phases where too short or some things did not work out as we thought. But I think that’s a good development of our goal to have at the end a permanent place to give the creative makers the opportunity to continue the experiment and development of the concepts shown in the CityLiv editions.
My personal ambition for the future is that I can keep on building bridges between different kind of creative disciplines, education and audience. I like to connect people, because working together is really important if you want to accomplish things. Not only for that, I like to work together because you can inspire and learn from one another, stimulate to a higher goal, exploring your own limitations.
You have a strong international background in the culture field. Can you tell us more about your interesting projects in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia?
I’m involved in a three year Parntership for International Business with the Netherlands Agency for Entrepeurs and Dutch government in the focus countries Lebanon and UAE. I’m one of the 6 cluster members, all working in the field of the creative industry in the broadest sense of the word. We are promoting Dutch creative industry, our cluster is also named DCI (Dutch Creative Industry)
The promotion is divided in several activities, like presentations during art/design fairs or design weeks, organizing seminars, workshops or lectures about creative innovative related topics, exchange with students and so on. Also we try to collaborate with local stakeholders to enlarge the cultural understanding and trade.
Where can we follow and admire your new projects and challenges?
You can follow me on my personal website where I regularly share with my audince my latests projects.
Judy Straten Art – Design
consulting | connecting | realising
Photos: Communications-Unlimited.nl (CityLiv 2016) and Judy Straten
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