The time had come on July 30, 2022: for one entire week, 21 artists from Finland, Sweden, the UK, Hungary and Austria came together in Altmünster am Traunsee and the results of an intense week, the SALT LAB, were presented on the esplanade. A piece based on salt, water and freedom was developed from a combination of movement and dance, performative object art, sound and music: a regional interpretation of the Libertalia story as a performance. With the active support of the Altmünster community, the artists developed the piece for one whole week on location. The gymnasium became a sound and dance studio, the parish hall became a workshop where the objects as well as the masks and puppets for the performance were made.
The 2024 European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl Salzkammergut is part of the Creative Europe project LIBERTALIA, which invites young people to expand their skills and experiences in the field of participative performance in exchange with other Europeans. Libertalia is part of the programming series CULTURE IN MOTION.
“Libertalia is a lovely example of what the European Capital of Culture can mean: a coming together and shared creative process between regional and international artists. The underlying network, Collective Moves, will also continue to exist and other the possibility of taking part in other project like this, also in other European countries”, say Eva Mair, Project Manager for the 2024 European Capital of Culture Salzkammergut.
“The origins of Libertalia go back to 2019, shortly before the Salzkammergut region won the title of European Capital of Culture. It has taken three years and a great deal of artistic perseverance to create and realize this project on location in Altmünster. The COVID-19 pandemic caused constant changes to the project, but thanks to the enormous flexibility and concentration of all the artists, we have remained on track. Even though I had consistently attended and watched sections of the rehearsals, the performance yesterday was wonderfully surprising and new and full of collaborative spontaneity. We were a big European artistic family for a week – the time went by much too quickly”, says curator Heidi Zednik.
The Salt Lab week in Altmünster was, following the previous online labs, an intense, collaborative week of work in which we made the impossible possible together. That is, within four days we were able to create and perform a performance piece with all of its component parts, from stage design with performative objects to music, composition, sound design and all the way to movement, choreography and text. The collaboration with 21 regional and international artists was a tremendous experience full of mutual inspiration”, says curator Petra Kodym.
“I am from Altmünster myself, but I studied abroad. For me, it was strange to have “the world” appear all of a sudden in my placid little home and turn everything here on its head. Founding a community in only a week and finding your own place within it and bring such a lovely project to a brilliant conclusion with a great adventure and a mind changer: Really anywhere can serve as the hub of the art world if dedicated people come together”, says curator Hannah Wimmer.
The history of LIBERTALIA finds its origins with the Swedish Gathenhielm pirates who are still known today for creating a balance between land and water that allowed the society to govern itself. In this sense, the project LIBERTALIA deals with current questions regarding future coexistence on the basis of equality, empowerment and collective work.