What is the Art Circle / Krog umetnosti project?
Basically, the name of the project is not Krog, but we chose from the get-go a name that is internationally recognizable – ART CIRCLE. The idea for the project developed as a result of several meetings between artists that took place in Brda. We looked for new approaches, from the point of view of organization and content, in order to enhance the effects of our activities. In our 15 years of activities, we mainly collaborated with three establishments – Klinec, Ščurek and Movia. Sometimes we tried to expand our collaborations, but without success. The reasons for this are definitely several, but I do not see the point in debating about this as we now have an answer _ ART CIRCLE. The core of the project is to expand the operation of art projects to several homesteads in Brda in the form of establishing art embassies of different countries. These homesteads would then see the creation of art projects in different forms and with different contents in a determined space of time. This way, we would lay the foundations for realizing a large art festival, very unique for its organization which would be able to compete, with a very low budget, with the large international arts festivals. The promotional effects and networking aspects would create very positive results for the economy, promotion, tourism and more. We need to keep in mind that the marketing of local products depends largely on how recognizable a place is, not only in Slovenia, but globally. This is not possible just by making quality products, but through the cooperation of several branches. As the embassies are being established in cooperation with diplomatic representative bodies of single countries, we offer an opportunity for Brda to become a place for informal diplomatic meetings. The project’s major influence, however, is definitely to ensure a high-quality cultural program in Brda which would bring long-term positive effects.
When Uroš and Nejka Klinec asked me if it was possible to introduce a new story linked to art into the property of their tourist establishment, it took me quite some time to create this story. It was essential to create a story that would include several winemakers, a story that would impress them and serve as a model for the expansion of this idea. It was not simple. Thanks to the team we managed to bring this idea into reality in 2011. Since then, we have continued to expand and upgrade. Nowadays, we have over 15 art embassies of which I am very proud!
At the beginning – for the content of the first culture embassy of Poland at Uroš and Nejka Klinec’s establishment, I thought of painting ceramic bottles, which would be filled with wine by renowned winemakers. The bottles are kept in beautiful wooden boxes. They are not market-oriented but serve for promotion. They can be used as a gift for important guests that come to visit the projects and support them. For instance, at the beginning, before 2011, we already gave one bottle to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Žbogar and the former President of the Republic of Slovenia Danilo Turk. Other artistically painted bottles can still be seen at the Polish cultural embassy in Plešivo.
As it is the cultural embassy of Poland, we needed to invite Polish artists. This is why we chose the curator of the Museum of Modern Art Jagoda Barczynska in Chelm. She selected six artists. We then added some Slovenian artists. We also invited artists from Austria, Croatia and Italy.
They are mostly artists who participated several times at the MMM art project and are all active, working and academically or professionally trained artists – painters, sculptors, designers and other.
Excerpt from the interview with the project’s founder and director Etko Tutta, artist