K.A.I.R - Adela Foldynova
K.A.I.R. project is successfully running since spring 2011. After cultural manager Ludwig Henne from Germany, new project leader became Adela Foldynova from Czech Republic. Adela studied Humanities in Prague and in Maastricht, Netherlands, she continued study in the specialism of Art and Heritage, Cultural Policy, Management and Education.
You came to Kosice in order to start something new and also to change something, could you describe it more in details, what is the main challenge for you regardless of the time frame of the project?
When I was leaving Amsterdam where I worked in an office focused on innovation in culture I was not really sure if I was doing the right thing when I decided to move to live and work in Košice. However I felt I have learnt a lot there and it was the right time to try all the innovative approaches and futuristic stuff we were often immersed into somewhere outside the Netherlands which is indeed a cradle of new developments not just in the field of culture.
And the fact that I was offered a job in Košice which will be the ECoC next year was appealing. Košice seemed to me as a right place to check whether all the things which worked smoothly in the Netherlands can also work in post-industrial rather provincial town with the communistic history, high unemployment rate and reputation of omnipresent alcoholism my parents warned me of.
And of course many of the things I have learned either while working in Prague in different museums and galleries, in Amsterdam or during my studies worked also in Košice. Not exactly in the same way as they did in the other places but this is the exciting and interesting thing about experiencing different (cultural) scenes and systems.
You did study in two different cities – school systems, on more traditional and conservative in Prague and on more modern and informal in Maastricht. Which one of these two is more like Kosice?
The education system in Maastricht was indeed innovative but the town was rather traditional, not that much Dutch as also Dutch people agree on. It is a catholic region, people enjoy their time, there are many international students but also older people who like to have their comfort.
Prague is Prague, I love it and that is why I will most probably end up there in future. However for now Košice is my hometown. Honestly, I was coming here with some negative prejudices. I was expecting sleepy, boring and grey town. But now I can say that Košice is much more fun than Maastricht, there are many things happening nearly every day, and more interesting place to be in right now than Prague.
The things which are happening in Košice now are often made and visited by people who are truly interested in the town and its future development. The cultural scene here is under reconstruction and as every “building sites” also Košice is messy and chaotic sometimes but always busy, vivid and promising.
In some other interview you mentioned that contemporary society is in the captivity of routine, including traditional art and that now we need new impulses and inspiration. However this is impossible without transforming already existing. Don’t you think that people should first digest what is already here in order to be ready for new?
Definitely, I am sure we always have to build on what we have inherited from the previous generations, be it positive or negative heritage. This can only make us aware of not repeating mistakes done before (well, to some extent at least). Innovation is not about speaking language from Mars no one understands and pretending how progressive we are. Innovation, which can break the routine, is about taking a step back and thinking how to make the next step in more effective way.
The idea that the art is the universal language of the society is unbeatable, what is your recipe for cooperation with artists on residency how to achieve this goal?
The basic idea of artist-in-residence is that artists have time to live art, live it in every moment of every day throughout the residence stay during which artists should be freed up from their daily routine. They can get to know new places and people and through this find inspiration. We, as K.A.I.R. team can facilitate them these new encounters and fuel their enthusiasm they have for expressing this newly gained experiences. This ranges from introducing them to the local (cultural) scene but also finding where to rent circular saw, 17th century oak, mirror like metal sheets with a chrome coat.
How many people work in the K.A.I.R. team? Could you briefly introduce to us also your colleagues?
Ludwig Henne, a cultural manager from Germany, was the one who started the whole thing. He was sent there by Robert Bosch Foundation which delegates German cultural managers to the countries of Central and East Europe and their cultural institutions. Later Oliver Leric from France joined him. Olivier lived and worked in countries like Romania and Ukraine. From this also his interest in East European literature comes from. They were a great team of enthusiasts who could take perfect care about the artists. Ludwig is now leaving and it is me who takes over. I am happy that Oliver decided to continue and he helps me a lot since he is nearly a true Košice inhabitant after living here for already some years . I believe that this international team of people who are also themselves discovering Košice step by step is a great benefit for the project and it gives to it an interesting twist.