This year’s Arteria also marks our first 10 years. For that reason the festival does not have a specific subject, it is simply a celebratory anniversary edition. We are celebrating the fact that, regardless of the hardships, we again focused on new artistic productions and media, that we can exhibit works from previous festival editions which remained in our collection, but more than anything we are celebrating together with the artists happily accepted our invitation, both those we have already worked with once or a few times and those we have been working with continually. Let us just say that this is a chance to look back at who we are and if we have accounted for our first decade well. Over the course of these nine years, Arteria, designed as a platform based on the examination of the role of contemporary art in society and a model of collaboration, exchange of knowledge and experiences between artists from different disciplines and areas, has hosted 128 authors. Thirty-one performances and 21 workshops were presented, and 57 (spatial) installations were displayed (with or without the authors’ presence), as well as 56 video works at different venues in the old town. Adding to that 15 music performances and, finally, a little over 500 works, paintings, drawings, photographs and objects, we have displayed a respectable number. But it is not only statistics that is on our side. All these years included time for exploration, creativity, activism, enthusiasm and joy, as well as doubts, frustrations, fatigue and even failures. But the important things has always been the environment in which we create, perform, communicate, keep and nurture our dear art. Although Arteria has been more inclined to a more open and flexible manifestation of visual arts, as well as to a process pointing to social, emotional and aesthetic qualities in the broadest possible context, we can safely single out its essential traits as positive values. These are, primarily, support to new artistic productions and innovative subject matters, followed by affirmation and dialogue between different generations of artists, international collaboration and systematic promotion of contemporary art among the local community and general audience and, last but not least, replenishing the museum holdings. We hope we have managed to drop in somewhat different stories inside the dense touristic narrative of our town, to add new venues to the existing as part of the exhibition experience, and to connect traces of history with the present time.
JERICA ZIHERL CURATOR.