Musagetes designs and implements programs in transitional cities to experiment with socially engaged artistic practices. They combine action and dialogue through artistic projects and café-style conversations.
After the Cafés in London (2007) and Barcelona (2008), Musagetes first Café in the expanded model took place on June 14-17, 2009 in Rijeka, Croatia. Musagetes convened 15 participants from six countries to discuss the following questions:
Musagetes invited two artists for a two-month residency in Rijeka in April and May 2011. The artists, Matthew Mazzotta and Laetitia Sonami, chose to work in direct relationship to a 2-km waterbreak pier that run the length of the city’s downtown. Mazzotta’s practice encompasses alternative energy, collective action and public space. Sonami’s practice is sound-based, evoking memory through sonic stimuli. Their projects depend on participatory action and collaborative work. Each of the artists will return to Rijeka in April and May 2012 to conduct the second phases of their projects.
Sonami’s installations, titled “Sound Gates” and “Invisible Sea”, aimed to transition the industrial environment of the pier into a place of reflection and reinvention. She says, “I came to think of the pier as a double-sided mirror: reflecting the city and its rich industrial heritage, its sounds and voices and also a projection space onto the open Adriatic sea, gazing outwards.” http://sonami.net/rijeka
Mazzotta’s project is titled “Pier Shear”and consists of a new ‘rural’ grass park for sheep. While the sheep live on the pier, their wool will be transformed into 10 works of art including sculpture, painting, furniture, fashion and performance. These new works made of wool will be installed on the pier for one month in May 2012. Rijeka-based artists are collaborating with Mazzotta to transform the wool into a artworks that reveal something about Rijeka’s past, their dreams for the future, or a story about transformation. http://piershear.com
DodoLab has been working in Rijeka with Musagetes since early 2009 and continues to do so. For a detailed look at their work, visit their website at www.dodolab.ca.
One of the Café participants and a long-time collaborator with Musagetes, Lorenzo Pignatti, collaborated with the Rijeka Architecture Association and six universities (including the universities of Waterloo, Pescara, Zagreb, Split, Ljubljana and the London Architecture Association) to bring 40 architecture students to Rijeka for a week-long workshop. The students proposed design approaches for the corridor between the delta that encompasses the waterbreak pier and the river corridor leading to the ex-paper factory, Hartera.