četvrtak, 30. travnja 2009.


**please click HERE
for complete programme of research workshop "Shadowing the City"**

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for impressum and facts**

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Shadow Casters:
Documents and Research of Collective and Individual Memory of Urban Time-Space

“Cities are, in many ways, the embodiment of human constellation (its functioning and mechanisms), especially of its innate dichotomies. The inner and the outer, the hidden and the revealed, the private and the public, the organized and the chaotic, the pragmatic and the irrational, the reflected and the unconscious... these are just some of the aspects that humans share with their most intricate creations on Earth’s surface. A city develops like a human: from one cell (habitat) to an organism (urban system). In that sense, it can be seen as the externalisation of the internal projection of human self.

Yet, no matter to what extent an initial projection of one or several people, the city always outgrows the individual’s capability of grasping it. There is no all-encompassing image of a city that can be contained in one mind: even a map contains merely the graphic depiction of the urban structure. Each city is an ever-changing and fluctuating sum of a multitude of ideas, experiences, attitudes and prejudices of those who live in it, pass through it, think or dream of it. In that sense, the city contains the same quality of infinity as the Universe.

The city is therefore a bridge between humans and the Universe, the mirroring and defying image of the micro and the macro dimension of our world (…)

The city is a vessel; events are poured into it and, like the liquid, they acquire the shape of the vessel. Compromise is immanent to the city and a fundamental prerequisite for its existence; the results of this compromise are harmony on the one hand and conflict on the other hand. Those extremes are the source of all artistic and political initiatives – all sublimations of the unknown and its transformation into the known (…)”

These are the excerpts of ideas, images and concepts that were put on paper for various Shadow Casters projects between 2001 and 2006. During that time, in a process of slow but intensive brewing, a new project came to life: one that would tackle urban cultural memory in a multi-facetted way and evolve in a multitude of forms that always give the project a different shape.

But Re-collecting City / Re-Collecting Time (RCRT) has more ground than poetic and philosophical considerations of cities. The entire project has actually sprung out of the realisation that the preservation of cultural memory is a vitally important issue for societies undergoing transition, as in such times of feverish accumulation of capital cities go through radical and dramatic changes, often to the detriment of immaterial cultural heritage. What makes the transition even more brutal in the region of the Western Balkans, compared to Eastern and Central Europe, are the bloody wars in the 1990's that took their toll not only in the form of destruction of human lives and material property but also in the destruction of heritage of previous era in social and political as well as in cultural and spiritual sense. This has brought to an overall production of discontinuity, which is one of the most devastating elements of influence when it comes to building the future. It is in such conditions of damaged memory and pervasive collective amnesia that raising the issue of cultural memory (especially the one dealing with immaterial cultural heritage) appears as a necessary endeavour.

In its first two years, the project was focused on Zagreb and dealt with detecting, archiving, studying and exhibiting the artworks and the project documentation on artistic actions as well as political protests and public gatherings in Zagreb in public, non-typical performing spaces from 1945 to the present. In the core of RCRT’s interest was the temporality of those actions and events, which at the time of their unfolding did not aim at any permanent presence. Moreover, RCRT strove to capture even more fragile and ephemeral aspects of the past events by searching for memories of individuals – artists themselves, their collaborators, journalists, accidental passer-bys – in various forms: from material ones (photographs, films, videos, written testimonies) to spoken evocations. The time span of the project was set to three years after which the collected and processed material would be transposed to a Web site while its physical form would be handed over to an institution that would be equipped and willing to continue and expand the research.

Yet the intention has never been either to perform the role of curator/s or to assemble a more or less comprehensive archive of the kind that would result from an institutionally conducted research. The collected materials were treated as triggers for new viewpoints and associations. Apart from different smaller-size events, they were mainly channelled through two creative outputs or two forms of reflexive and critical presentation: Open Offices and Wall Newspapers. Thus the project went beyond the mere representation level, directing its attention towards the creative investigation of the broader context of artistic and political actions in public spaces.

Shadow Casters use this form of communicating with a broader public since the first project in 2001. The project was hosted 3 times during 2006 by various public spaces (Nova Gallery, Culture Club Booksa and Zagreb Student Centre) for a week during which the citizens of Zagreb - both protagonists and participants of artistic and political public events - were invited to bring their own memorabilia (photos, films, written documentation) and share them with the members of RCRT team either as a written or oral testimony. The meeting and exchange part was always combined with various events including discussions, exhibitions, screenings, concerts and interviews. Thus Open Offices would actually become mini-festivals of urban cultural memory.

An obsolete medium turned into hype: In 2007, seven street display boxes of the temporarily closed Croatian Cinematheque, all positioned in the centre, became the exhibiting space for different RCRT themes and concepts. Now in their 5th edition, Wall Newspapers feature hi/stories that were hidden, forgotten or petrified in cliché, presented through docu-fiction collages of visual and written materials. Thus the project is present in the public on different levels but with great intensity and in a continuous way.

In the meantime, RCRT has expanded to the entire region of the Western Balkans.
This phase was conceived as a series of preparatory workshops in different cities of the region (Zagreb, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Dubrovnik) that would lead to an international research workshop. The preparatory workshops were detecting innovative and artistic practices dealing with the issue while offering the know-how of the project leaders accumulated through the RCRT project. Each workshop has had a somewhat different format and each was documented either (or both) in material or virtual form. Selected participants of those workshops are taking part in the research workshop Shadowing the City: Hypertextualisation of Urban Spaces (May 8-10, 2009, Zagreb), together with other artists, cultural researchers, architects, anthropologists, operators and officials from 14 countries world-wide.

The notion of shadowing has at least a two-fold meaning: one comes from visual arts terminology and stands for giving texture and volume to two-dimensional plains. The other comes from social sciences and is used as well in performing arts as a method of merging with the surrounding or the situation and mimicking its unfolding and traits. Shadowing the City embraces both meanings.

The three-day intensive workshop is aimed at detecting the specifics of approaches to immaterial cultural heritage and cultural memory in urban spaces through different artistic practices and initiatives, urban culture theory and social science. The workshop format consists of thematic clusters of concise presentations of various artistic projects and other cultural endeavours dealing with the topic intertwined with discussions – a dynamic and dialogical form shying away from the ex cathedra principle. The concentric circles or layers of different approaches, analysed and reflected through discussions, will presumably allow for some new perspectives.


Zagreb, May 8-10, 2009
Student Centre, Savska 25

With the kind support of the European Cultural Foundation, Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia and the Zagreb Student Cultural Centre


Pre-workshop event

Thursday, May 7, 20.00:
Chris Neville: Urban and Cultural Archaeology of New York – Case Studies of the Projects “Place Matters” and “Lower East Side Tenement Museum”
Lecture at Zagreb Architects Association, Trg Bana Jelačića 3, Zagreb

Post-workshop event


Marc Augé: Architecture and ‘Non-Places’
Lecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Kačićeva 26, Zagreb



Friday, May 8, 2009

16.00: Welcome by Katarina Pejović and Boris Bakal, co-founders of Shadow Casters and organizers of the workshop

Introduction and program review by Dr. Dragan Klaic, cultural researcher and analyst, Professor at CEU, Budapest

16:30: Re-threading Urban Textures

Women’s Guide Through Zagreb. Barbara Blasin, artist and designer, Zagreb

Placc Festival. Fanni Nanay, Art Historian, Budapest

Talent en Route. sProUt, visual and performing artists' collective, London

17.30: Break

17.45: Discussion

Closing remarks: Dragan Klaić, Amsterdam.

19.00: Ends

Dinner in Student Centre Club

22.00: Theatre performance:
Vacation From History, Shadow Casters - Mosor Cinema, Zagreb (120’)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

9.30: Opening and program review: Dragan Klaic

Architecture and Urbanism as Political Tools

Outside My Door. Marija Mojca Pungerčar, visual artist, Ljubljana

Famous Brno Villas II. Barbora Klìmovà, visual artists, Brno

Apartment Project. Serra Özhan, art historian and theoretician, Istanbul

Post-Capitalist Cartography: Red Plan and Plan Mediterraneo. Emil Jurcan, Red Plan Group, Pula


Closing remarks: Boris Bakal, intermedia artist, Zagreb

11.30: Break

11.50: Traumas and Dreams: Unraveling the Burried Memories

Sarajevo Video Archive. Nihad Kreševljaković, historian and artist, Sarajevo

Traveling Through Collective Unconscious: L’île. Fiona Templeton, director and performing artist, London/New York

Time Patrol. Janos Sugar, visual artist, Budapest

A glimpse of the future: Exodus 2048. Michael Blum, visual artist, Vienna


Closing remarks: Katarina Pejovic, Zagreb

13.30: Lunch

14.30: Passing it On to the Young Ones: Community Reflecting Upon

Do You Practice What You Preach? Nikoleta Marković, visual artist, Belgrade

Found a house: started a game (Scholé). Istituto Benjamenta (Valeria di Modica, Luca Mattei & Irena Radmanović), performing and visual artists, Bologna

Place Matters. Chris Neville, historian, performing artist and cultural anthropologist, curator of Tenement Museum, New York


Closing remarks: Urša Jurman, curator and art pedagogue, Ljubljana

16.30: Break

16.50: Urban Zoon Politikon: Reading and Writing Urban Cultural Memory
as Political Statement

Pillow Fights and Bloody Memories: Public Space Bucharest. Raluca Voinea, art historian, Bucharest

Mapping the Black Holes: Art Centre Lazareti and the Fight Against Urban Criminal Politics. Slaven Tolj, visual and performing artist, Director of Art Centre Lazareti, Dubrovnik

366 Rituals of Liberation. Igor Grubić, visual artist, Zagreb


Closing remarks: Borka Pavićević, dramaturg, Director of Centre for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade

18.50: Ends

Dinner at Student Centre Club

20.00: The Night of Foreign Cultural Institutes in Student Centre: various
programmes (performances, videos, installations, exhibitions) all over Student Centre

Sunday, May 10, 2009

09.30: Shadow Casters Journey Through the City

11.15: Final Discussion
Urban Cultural Memory as Tool for Reflection, Criticism and Creation. Moderator: Dragan Klaic. Guest Speaker: Nina Obuljen, Councilor to the Minister of Culture, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

13.00: Ends


RCRT project leaders: Boris Bakal and Katarina Pejović

RCRT is financially supported by: ECF (European Cultural Foundation), Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport

RCRT was financially supported in previous years by: ERSTE Bank, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia

RCRT local partners: Zagreb Film, Nova Gallery, Booksa, Student Centre, Zagreb Fine Arts Academy, Art Centre Lazareti (Dubrovnik), Croatian Film Association, Centre for Culture Trešnjevka, Multimedia Institute, BLOK - Lokalna baza za osvježavaje kulture, CDU

RCRT international partners: REX Cultural Centre (Belgrade, Serbia), Ljubljana City Museum and DUM – Artists’ Association (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Orchestra Stolpnik (Bologna, Italy), Archiphoto (Genova, Italy)

Project collaborators: Vanja Žanko, Iva Kovač, Srećko Horvat, Vesna Vuković, Srećko Pulig, Mirjana Boba Stojadinović, Urša Jurman, Slaven Tolj, Sonja Soldo, Ines Horvat, Mare Šuljak

Preparatory workshops participants: Tea Plepelić, Nikolina Butorac, Josip Horvat, Nives Sertić, Maja Blažek, Goran Novaković, Marita Stanić (Zagreb); Nikoleta Marković, Ana Vilenica, Maja Pelević, Ivan Zupanc, Marijana Simu, Mirjana Vilić, Zoran Rajšević, Sunčica Milosavljević, Anđela Ćirović, Nikola Nikolić, Milica Čizmić, Danica Karaičić, Nikola Knežević, Lidija Antonović / Forum: Borka Pavićević, Milena Dragićević-Šešić, Jelica Radovanović, Dejan Anđelković, Marija Milinković, Dragana Stevanović (Belgrade); Ivana Butigan, Marijeta Čalić, Ines Horvat, Marko Marković, Višnja Rogošić, Branka Franičević, Ivo Karapešić, Vesna Mitrović, Oda Karapešić (Dubrovnik); Marija Mojca Pungerčar, Barbara Borčič, Urban Jeriha, Vesna Bukovec, Lada Cerar, Metka Zupančič, Danijel Modrej, Martina Štirn, Katarina Slukan, Mirjana Batinić, Alexandra Wirobski (Ljubljana)

Thanks to persons: Antonio Lauer aka Tomislav Gotovac, Željko Zorica-Šiš, Gorki Žuvela, Branka Stipančić, Mladen Stilinović, Darko Šimičić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Stjepan Gračan, Aleksandar Battista Ilić, Blaž Peršin, Dušica Parezanović, Andrea Kulunčić, Igor Grubić, Damir Bartol Indoš, Sergej Pristaš, Davor Mance, Emanuele Piccardo, Zlatko Sviben, Igor Jović, Dragan Pajić-Pajo, and many others who have helped us in all these years.

Thanks to institutions: HAZU (Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences), Zagreb State Archive, Museum of History of the City of Zagreb, Libraries of the City of Zagreb, Croatian Railways, Croatian Cinematheque, Zagreb Museum of Modern Art, Fade In, HIPP

Media sponsors: Radio 101, Zarez

Design: Barbara Blasin

Research workshop Shadowing the City: Hypertextualisation of Urban Spaces is financially supported by: Embassy of the United States Zagreb, National Foundation for Civil Society Development, CulturesFrance


BACAČI SJENKI (SHADOW CASTERS) is a non-profit international artistic and production platform dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration, creation and reflection within the field of intermedia arts, especially in the domain of its implementation in urban spaces. Its seat is in Zagreb.

SC stimulate intercultural dialogue through creating projects platforms for active cultural exchange between Croatian and international artists and professionals, at once questioning the existing concepts of individual and collective identity.

Through its activities, SC encourages the debate on the nature and contradictions of the on-going globalization process, dealing with those social, political and cultural issues that reveal the acute and chronic “blind spots” of a certain society.

In the course of the 14 years of its existence, SC have produced a number of projects on local and international level. The majority of these projects, created as performative, educational, multimedia or socially engaged time sculptures, examines the relation of man and space through entirely different approaches: a specific study of world cities that takes on the shape of poetic-detective urban travels (Shadow Casters); amalgamating and juxtaposing the material space of the performance and the real time of actors with the virtual space and the delayed time of film (Process_City, part III: Process_in_Progress); penetrating into the microcosm of one Zagreb skyscraper and the multi-facetted revealing of its past, present and future (Man is Space: Vitić Dances, intermedia project and full-length documentary film); travelling through the material space of memory of a city neighbourhood that turns into a unique travel through one’s own memory, feelings and sub-conscioussness, thanks to the special sensorial conditions of the visitors (Process_City, part II: Ex-position); creating a multimeda archive of urban events that become the tool for studying the hypertextuality of space (Re-collecting City/Re-collecting Time); a metaphysical travel on the edge of collective and individual consciousness, through the realms of dream and death as the only safe refuges from history (Process_City, part I: Vacation From History).

For their work, SC have received various recognitions and awards, among them Special Jury Award at 41st Belgrade International Theatre Festival BITEF for their production of Ex-position, and the Avaz Dragon Award at the 48th Sarajevo International Theatre Festival MESS for the entire trilogy Process_City.

SC projects have thus far gathered over 80 artists and professionals from 18 countries world-wide. Their projects have been produced and presented at festivals and manifestations in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Bologna, Graz, Pisa, Ljubljana, Udine, Bjelovar, Belgrade, Marseille, Leiden, Križevci, Genoa and New York, in collaboration with local partners (Urban Festival, Croatian Film Days, MI2 Institut, Small Front Festival and Eurokaz festival-Zagreb, BOK Festival-Bjelovar, Undefeated City Festival-Križevci, ARL and Karantena Festival-Dubrovnik /Croatia/; Exodos Festival and Modern Gallery-Ljubljana /Slovenia/; Festival Conttato-Udine, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Crocce-Genoa, CinemaTeatro LUX-Pisa, Fabbrica Europa-Florence, Stagione di Caccia festival and Orchestra Stolpnik-Bologna /Italy/; CENPI, Rex Cultural Centre-Belgrade, BITEF /Serbia/; Forum Stadtpark Cultural Centre-Graz /Austria/; FIAT Festival /Montenegro/; LFK&La FRICHE-Marseille /France/; Leiden University /The Netherlands/; The Kitchen, Dancing in The Streets and Columbia University-New York /USA/).

ADDRESS: Bosanska 10/II, & Martićeva 44/II, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
PHONE: +385 1 464 02 62
FAX: +385 1 464 02 62
E-MAIL: bacaci.sjenki@gmail.com
WEB: http://shadowcasters.blogspot.com

Responsible person: Boris Bakal, katedrala@priest.com,
Shadowing The City

On this green clouded peak
The sneering city is silenced
It is slowed by distance,
Chess pieces scuttle down
streets- carried by chance.

Peering down or looking out
A salt splattered beacon burns
Not with the heat from a flame
but with secrets from a forgotten age.

Fragile blades dance around its
base, celebrating an eternal gift.
Waves crash somewhere below
All is silent here, its so loud
we can think of nothing but time.

(Vincent aka Not Long Left, 28; Taken from PoemHunter.com)