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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Márta Ladjánszki (H) interview by Orsolya Bálint (KÖM)

photo: Edit Kozár
“We want to prove that being visible is important”
The first Performing V4 – Biennial of VARP-PA Residents taking place in Prague on the 26-27-28th of February will provide an exclusive insight into the Visegrad countries’ (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) contemporary art scene by presenting the very best works – theatre and dance performances, film premiere, concerts, workshops and a fine art exhibition – created in the framework of Visegrad Artist Residency Program—Performing Arts. We talked to Márta Ladjánszki from L1 Association (HU) – the main organizer of the Biennial –, about selecting the participants of the Biennial and the unique possibilities offered by the VARP-PA program in supporting performing art residencies in the region.

What is your artistic background and what did the possibility mean to you to work in the framework of VARP-PA?
I am a dancer, choreographer and teacher in the field of contemporary dance. I have been the artistic vice president of L1 Association (an artists’ collective) since 2002, which became a virtual association with live and active artists from the year of 2011, nine years after establishing L1danceLab. Since the beginning of VARP-PA, I am monitoring the program that takes place in Hungary with a great pleasure.

Who would you like to address with the Biennial?  
My focus as monitoring partner and main organizer is on:
- young artists/students, who would like to apply for such residencies in the future;
- future hosts, who could host new resident artists (but don’t know about the program yet)
- the presentation of the first 2,5 years' artists, who did apply to participate on the Biennial and who we selected to show their work;
- presenting a successful event with all the invited artists to prove the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) that being visible is important, so they aim to support this Biennial in the future as well.

What were your experiences during the selection process? Along which principles did you chose the final participants of the Biennial?
First we announced an open call for those artists, who already did their residencies in the framework of the VARP-PA program. We sent out the open call to the artists of the years 2012-14 directly. They had to apply to participate on the Biennial, knowing all details concerning the financial possibilities and schedules. From the 22 artists we received 14 applications and started the selection process. All four of us monitoring partners could cast a vote after watching the full length videos (or even see the shows live) and we summed up the points. There was in fact one candidate, who received the maximum point from all of us. Our budget allowed us to invite only 9 residents of the VARP-PA program, who will present their work on the first Performing V4 – Biennial this year in Prague. We wish to continue the program every second year in another V4 country, with the support of the International Visegrad Fund.

Have you ever been part of a V4 program before, either as a resident, a beneficiary or a partner?
I have participated in the VARP-PA program once as an artist in 2012, and now as host of a Polish artist (2015). But L1 Association was already approved as a beneficiary in several applications (small grants and now the standard grant) and also as a partner organization. To be able to use the help of IVF is a great chance for a non-profit organization like ours; working hard for the artists, with the artists.

Who would you recommend the VARP-PA program to?
Anybody who wants to work in the frame of Visegrad co-operations, who would like to use this residency for researching something (as it is not an obligation to make a final work, which is great), and who would like to get to know the other countries’ artists and artistic life as well, as through the program there is a chance to get in touch with them as well! And also for possible hosts, as the program helps to finance hosting great artists. 

What other countries do you have regular contact with within V4?
As I am the artistic director of L1danceFest (an annual contemporary festival in Budapest since 2002), I have to know not just the V4 countries’ activities but outside of this circle as well. We are in connection with many artists as well as organizations.

Do you have any wishes or suggestions regarding the future of the program and the Biennial?
We would be happy to organize the next biennial (in 2017), as a main applicant, with the support of IVF. And we would be happy to introduce this program also in Budapest.

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