2x2 Forum, symposium of the European project “Outsider Art Past Forward”
Kunsthaus Kannen, Münster, 6.10.2011
Ms. Raija Kallioinen
Vice president of the European Outsider Art Association EOA
Ladies and gentlemen / Liebe Damen und Herren
I have the pleasure of bringing greetings from the European Outsider Art Association EOA to this symposium.
EOA – European Outsider Art Association
- EOA is an umbrella organisation for different actors devoted to the visual arts in the field of Outsider Art and its promotion in Europe. The association was founded in 2009 in Belgium.
- During the first two years the new association has gained 40 member organisations throughout Europe: museums, collections, art centres, cultural organisations, research centres and art studios.
- The aim of the association is: To connect European outsider art / To stimulate international cooperation and dialogue / To influence cultural policies and education / To promote the continuation of outsider art history / To protect the rights of outsider artists
- Until now, the main result of our activities has been the EOA website which is developing into a vivid platform for our members. On the website they all have a common stage to present themselves and find information on each other, also to find the latest news of the association. (http://www.outsiderartassociation.eu/) There is also an open group in Facebook for the outsider art organisation and individual artists for their recent releases.
- Another achievement gained by the EOA is the networking which led us to start the European collaboration project “Outsider Art Past Forward”. This project is the reason for us being here today, at the 2x2 Forum in Münster.
Project Outsider Art Past Forward
- “Outsider Art Past Forward” is a three-year project, sponsored by the EU Culture programme. The main aim of the project is to promote mutual knowledge, discussion and collaboration between different actors in the field of Outsider Art.
- The project programme consists of three international events:
1) In June 2011 the first symposium took place in Helsinki. It highlighted perspectives of European collaboration and some country-specific manifestations of Outsider Art.
2) Now, here in Münster, the 2x2 Forum will focus on the dialogue of contemporary art and Outsider Art and the Art Fair will exhibit some good practices of progressive art studios.
3) Next spring the third symposium will take place in Ghent, Belgium. It will be a forum for launching the Guide Book on 60 selected good practices of European Outsider Art. The mapping and research of those good practices is run by this project. The general assembly of the EOA will also take place in Ghent. I warmly invite all the members to join us there!
- Contributors of the project are:
- Gaia Outsider Art Museum in Denmark
- Kunstahaus Kannen in Germany
- Museum Dr. Guislain in Belgium
- Union for Rural Culture and Education in Finland
- I would like to express my warm thanks to Kunsthaus Kannen for arranging this event.
- Warm thanks also to all supporters, including the EU Culture programme, the city of Münster, and Alexianer organisation among others.
Actual questions for this Forum
- The symposium in Helsinki was a great success. It was interesting that many new studios and workshops took part in it. Since the symposium there has been quite a lot discussion and debate – including some confusion and controversy.
- What is the role of the workshops and studios in the field of Outsider Art compared with established actors who have a long history and permanent position? How do the old, superior museums and collections representing Art Brut and Outsider Art react to these newcomers? Do they accept them to share the concept of “Outsider Art”?
- And: What do the studios themselves think about their position on the edges? Do they want to belong to phenomena called “outsider” or would they prefer to be regarded as a part of contemporary art? A lot of questions in the air!
- In London there is now a huge exhibition at the Museum of Everything, exhibiting art from progressive studios throughout Europe. The latest issue of Raw Vision Magazine, in an article written by Sue Steward, discussed studios for artists with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.
- It seems the topic of this 2x2 Forum is very relevant just now.
- We need more dialogue. We need forums to study the history of Outsider Art in order to learn about the roots and traditions of art in margins. But we also need meeting points for getting to know new actors promoting equal rights to creativity in our time, in the present Europe. The ateliers and workshops have their social and democratic dimensions; but these progressive studios are also launching some new discoveries into the art field, into museums and collections. The future will show which of these new creators will find their place in art history.
- In the core of Outsider Art there is Art and Individual Creativity. It is surrounded by labels, organisations and art markets. I strongly believe that communication between actors in this field will help art and artists to find their place in the changing world.
- I hope this 2x2 Forum will promote mutual communication and deepen our understanding so that the art itself can exist in any form. - Ich wünche vielen glück für diesen Forum!