The good people behind the artFart festival will be writing us occasionally this summer, giving a sneak preview this year’s programme and some insight into the inner-workings of producing an independent arts festival in Iceland.
For those that have not yet become acquainted, artFart is an international, contemporary arts festival that takes place in Reykjavík every August. Since 2006, artFart has taken up residence in theatres, galleries and alternative spaces across Reykjavík to present a programme of performance events that provide a space for artists and audiences to come together and celebrate contemporary performance here in Iceland.
As an independent festival, we pride ourselves in being Iceland’s foremost presenter of both homegrown and international contemporary performance, and seek to represent the work of artists that may otherwise remain massively underrepresented in this country.
There is a fast-growing wave of new homegrown artists, and an unprecedented level of interest from international groups offering an awesome array of performance delights. artFart, armed with a tiny budget and a penchant for punching above its weight, is lining up a series of miniature art-world coups to accommodate them all.
It is still very early days in the artFart 2010 calendar. Although preparations for securing funds are now moving healthily into their final phase, the process for programming and scheduling the three-week event is still very much an open field.
There are a few insider secrets that I am at liberty to share, however.
I can reveal that artFart’s 2010 headquarters will set up camp in an enormous warehouse space down by the harbour. The space is called Útgerðin and will host many of the indoor works, workshops, and talks taking place at this year’s festival.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘alternative spaces’ and part of this focus has led to the creation of a specific artFart programme entitled The Reykjavik Public Space Programme: a series of performance events dedicated to the exploration of contemporary performance practices that use public space as a platform.
Excitingly for the artists of Iceland, part of this initiative includes a selection of workshops, all led by established European artists. Even more exceptional is that these workshops will be free of charge and applicants will be selected on the basis of their artistic motivation and interest, rather than by the size of their wallets.