KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association
|Kulturno umetniško društvo Mreža|
|Masarykova 24, SI-1000 Ljubljana|
|Phone||386 (0) 1 434 0345|
|Fax||386 (0) 1 432 3378|
|Nataša Serec, Head of the association|
|Jadranka Plut, Artistic Director of Alkatraz Gallery|
Initially, KUD Mreža was primarily engaged in visual arts projects at Metelkova, yet it also functioned as a formal vehicle for various other initiatives that were active there. Its predecessor was, in a way, Mreža za Metelkovo (The Network for Metelkova), a collective that worked to establish this autonomous cultural centre in the first place. As such, KUD Mreža has been carrying out certain communal Metelkova functions since it's been founded.
In 2000, together with the Society for the Protection of Atheistic Feelings (DZAČ), KUD Mreža founded Menza pri koritu, a very active Metelkova venue that hosts concerts, poetry evenings, theatre shows, workshops and many other events. As of 2015, the association ceased being actively involved there.
KUD Mreža runs a couple of programmes for educating children and youth about the Metelkova cultural centre. In collaboration with schools from Ljubljana as well as from elsewhere, Mreža (sometimes in collaboration with other institutions, such as the Bunker Institute) organises guided tours and visits to the many artists studios, clubs, galleries, urban art projects and even concerts at Metelkova. Various children workshops regularly happen under its auspices.
It also operates the Alkatraz Gallery, where contemporary art exhibitions, performances and installations take place, and the adjacent Asylum Studio, which hosts artists of different creative orientations (street art, dance, sculpturing, music, etc) in its artist-in-residence project. Another KUD Mreža run gallery is the somewhat special Night Window Display Gallery Pešak, which displays its artworks behind the windows of one of Metelkova buildings, and they can consequently only be seen by way of a telescope, set on a nearby tower.
Since 2000, KUD Mreža is organising the International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns, bringing concerts, exhibitions, urban interventions, video projections and lectures to a number of Ljubljana venues. For a time, it organised the similarly diverse Personal–Collective Festival, primarily oriented towards mingling improvised music, dance, and visual arts.
Numerous educational programmes were also organised by KUD Mreža, amongst them a very ambitious and extensive, EU funded sound and lighting training.
Music series FriForma and Metabonma
The jazz and improvised music cycle Džez pri koritu, for many years held at Klub Menza pri koritu, was in 2016 recast as the FriForma series. Still focusing on improvised music, FriForma takes place at many different venues, among them being the Vodnik Homestead, the Pocket Teater Studio, Kapelica Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM), Klub Gromka and even various churches.
Some of its guests were Seymour Wright, Daichi Yoshikawa, Rie Nakajima, CRAM records, Jean-Luc Guionnet and Lucio Capece. Before that, Džez pri koritu hosted artists in the vein of Marc Ribot, Tristan Honsinger, Martin Küchen, Keith Rowe, Seijiro Murayama, Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band, Linda Sharrock, Good for Cows, Gutbucket, etc.
This cycle is complemented by the Metabonma, a series for staging contemporary composed music and classical music. Featuring the likes of Bruce Hamilton,, , and , the series is happening exclusively at Metelkova, where such music is only rarely to be heard.
Urban art projects
Since 2003, KUD MReža has been leading a programme called Urban Art Projects (Urbani likovni projekti), alternatively also called Gesamtkunstwerk Metelkova mesto. Devoted to renovations and artistic augmentations of public spaces at Metelkova, this programme is responsible for more than a hundred projects, from smaller interventions with semi-permanent installations to bigger ones, such as parks and the aforementioned Night Window Display Gallery Pešak.
Other international projects
In 2013, KUD Mreža became part of the international research project called "The Future of Work", and led the consortium (featuring Projekthaus Potsdam-Babelsberg and Zaaigrond filmproductions) that secured financing by the European Cultural Fund (ECF). The Future of Work is a 4 episode web-documentary by Abel Heijkamp (NL) and Julij Borštnik (SI), who are documenting their research into contemporary labour conditions in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany and Europe in general.
It also participated in Trans Europe Halles, a European Network of Independent Cultural Centres, with Metelkova hosting the TEH meeting in 2006.
Coordinated by the Croatian association Gokul, two Austrian partners and the Klub Metulj, Improcon was founded as a 'congress of free improvised music, arts and thoughts' in 2014. Mostly going on in the Croatian border town Kumrovec, this 4 day festival hosts dozens of artists of persuasions, and in 2016, KUD Mreža also entered into this endeavour.
- Alkatraz Gallery
- Asylum Studio
- Night Window Display Gallery Pešak
- International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns
- Vodnik Homestead
- Klub Menza pri koritu
- Art Center Prosenjakovci
- Metelkova mesto Autonomous Cultural Zone
- KUD Mreža website
- The Gallery Pešak website
- The Future of Work website
- Video recordings of FriForma concerts
- ImproCon website
- ImproCon on Facebook