The topic for 9 year’s edition for public art program is “The Flow of Water”.
The festival’s public art project was included into the European ARTECITYA program. Its curators are French architect Simon Jacquemin and Slovenian artist Martin Bricelj Baraga.
Water as a main theme, for the “Artbat fest 2018”, seems also an open and fruitful topic for wide range of practitioners. As Water is the first vital resource, our common elements. It brings question from religion, geopolitics, energy, leisure & entertainment, science, spirituality. Furthermore, it can raise awareness of the audience about the cycles of W/Matter.
One part of the festival which started in May, 2018 is the School of Artistic Gesture for young Kazakhstani artists who presented eight showcase projects to the public. It was also showcased the works of artists from Russia, India, Azerbaijan and Switzerland. There was also an artistic research project called the “Portrait of a Citizen of Modern Almaty” the results of which was also presented at ARTBAT FEST. As part of the Art Prospect international project Belorussian and Armenian artists came to Almaty to present their work at the festival.
The future sprouts from the past, piercing us in the present.
Curator of the festival: @artbatfestbot (telegram-bot)
ARTBAT FEST 8 offers artists and viewers to interpret the body of the city as a playing space and the disappearance thereof. Participants of the festival play with the city and with each other. Breaking away from the rational perception of the world, they are trying to create a "playground" for the viewer, where both of them could reflect on the current functioning of the game and on what games today form that which was once inseparable from the formation of almost all social processes.
At the end of the 20th century, we played computer games built on 8bit graphics, and 8bit music came from the speakers. The 8bit world responds with a romanticized nostalgia for the beginning of the era of computers and robots. Can we take these technological changes as the basis for a new big game? Is there a competitive component in Counter Strike and what is the uniqueness of the biological machine as compared the electronic computer? It seems that the difference lies in generating ideas, but aren't these processes mechanized as well?
The new ARTBAT FEST festival wants to talk with you about the fact that life is a game programmed by us for us and with the participation of ourselves. We should not take it too seriously, although it certainly should be taken seriously.
In 2016, the annual International Festival ARTBAT FEST decided to experiment and reformatted its structure. The festival public art program included a series of Kazakhstan and foreign performances and happenings held in the city space.
The still anthropomorphic structure of the city – roads, intersections, architecture – comes alive, gets filled with the energy of modern art. The immediate live action of the artist happening here and now, their interaction with the reality around them, with the citizens, sets the whole urban landscape into motion.
ARTBAT FEST 6 (2015)
ARTBAT FEST is a public art event in the most literal meaning possible. The 6th edition of the festival once again brings a dazzling array of Kazakh and international public art and urban culture to the streets of the Arbat area of Kazakhstan’s most happening city of Almaty.
The upcoming ARTBAT FEST 6 contemporary art festival aims at establishing a dialogue between art and the city. All festival participants and visitors also get engaged in a dialogue between each other.
ARTBAT FEST 5 (2014)
Smart City is an art project exploring the potential impact of art on social behavior favorable for the society and the environment, as well as studying the aesthetic impact on the development of city infrastructure.
The project is based on the principle of using of art and design in order to improve the public space, focuses on the role of art disciplines in the programs of urban development.
The project proposes an ambitious plan to develop the city as a social, economic, environmental, infrastructure space for life.
ARTBAT FEST 4 (2013)
The main challenge of public art in the spotlight of ArtBatFest is the interaction of the pieces of art and urban environment. In comparison to traditional urban monumental sculpture, which aims mostly at solving town planning issues, public art gives new understanding to city public space, creates interventions in the existing contexts, and introduces new cooperation patterns of the public and the private, of the artistic and the unsophisticated. Public art pieces are neither structural elements of city planning nor scenery; besides most of them are temporal. Introducing their art into public space the artists break the limits of traditional representation, appeal to mass viewers, and implement the ideas of art belonging to the people and direct communication with the audience.
ARTBAT FEST 3 (2012)
ArtBatFest 3 took place from May24 to June 24, 2012 with support from the Almaty City Administration. The Festival curator was Nailya Allakhverdiyeva, Head of the Public-Art Program at PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, who proposed the theme for the festival: The Beginning of the World.
What is near future for the mankind? Are our fears and concerns about the future justified or are all of these fears just a mirage of virtual information? In times of change, how can we keep our integrity and peace of mind? Carried out on the streets in direct contact with city residents, modern art teaches people to look at the city as both a private and public domain. Almaty is changing intensively into a new period of post-Soviet history and today’s residents are no longer passive, but active participants in these changes. Therefore, turning interest to «the language of the city» and attentive dialogue with it is within the scope of the Festival. On the expo grounds of the pedestrian Arbat and Republic Square of Almaty, there are extensive and diverse pieces of art created by Kazakhstani artists as well as by Festival guests from abroad like Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Italy. Contemporary art does not serve an entertainment objective and does not create touching images of the future, but in the image of the Festival, hope still shines, which as we all know, is the last to die.
ARTBAT FEST 2 (2011)
Every City is entitled to have its own special celebration. Every artist is entitled to bring to life his ideas and projects, to have his Viewer and Judge. Every Viewer is entitled to want to become an Artist, at least once in his life. ArtBatFest is a celebration of art, the time of long-awaited and happy transformation of any passerby into an engaged Viewer. This is the festival of sculptors, photographers, actors, painters and musicians. It means smiles and perplexity, sympathy and indignation. It means gigabytes of images on the overloaded digital carriers. It means tens of thousands of grateful and inspired citizens. It is ArtBatFest.
City is unique cultural organism where historical and town-planning, architectural and toponymic stories, as well as social customs and norms that have developed in this place, are in work. But ArtBatFest is, first of all, an intent to give to the city its own unique traditional celebration. For the city dwellers of the post-Soviet countries, it is normal to be socially apathetic to celebrations because the got accustomed to any social celebration being something where they act only as extras, whom the «leaders» have to entertain. But a real celebration means a bottom-up initiative, and only supported top-down in administrative and financial terms. City is something that belongs to people, who love, think about it and feel responsible for it. It is this feeling that encourages appearance and creative perception of such forms of art as Street art and Public art. It is the art that has come out into the streets and that implies interaction with the city space and being accessible for an amateur viewer. ArtBatFest, though still having a short history, is a move in this direction.
More information about the festival on the website artbat.kz
ARTBAT FEST 1 (2010)
Nowadays Contemporary Art plays a significant role that can be compared meaningfulness wise with such cultural phenomena, as music, theatre or cinematography. The time has come for Contemporary Art to reveal itself on the streets of Almaty. It is the time of a long-awaited transformation of any given pedestrian into an intrigued spectator and witness of the events that had been arranged by the representatives of somewhat dynamic arts against and within a static, yet very efficient installation composed by three-dimensional objects created by Almaty’s artists in many cases from the trash of our civilisation. We presented the city dwellers with not only an interesting multicomponent event, but also directed their attention to the environmental problems of our southern capital. We moved the art into the masses in hope that most of it would then find itself in museums and galleries because art is capable of being and must be available and understandable, it should make people think about the world surrounding them and see its diversity and interestingness in the best possible way. Just like any event of such range, ArtBatFest is very ambitious and audacious.