11 march 2017

h/c issues

to collect visions of a new harbour for cultures



Drawing inspiration from the real case history of how to convert and reuse the area of the Porto Vecchio (old port) of Trieste and ideally looking for an accessible model of a shared society, the H/C research and discussion will be based on both the historical functions of port activities carried out for economic interest (exchanges of goods, insurance issues and commercial profit) and the idea of “suspension” inherent in the imaginary of a port (of arriving, temporarily belonging and then leaving).

H/C is a two-year project focused on the social and cultural dimensions of these issues in view of shaping an image of a “new port” where people freely exchange their own cultures, while assuring their core values, so that new profits (benefits of art and culture) are earned by the many.

Thanks to the creative minds of art curators, artists and free thinkers from other disciplines, H/C project will develop into focused questionnaires addressed both to experts and non-experts, curatorial workshops and meetings, in-depth studies, art exhibitions and multidisciplinary events.

Harbour for Cultures re-interprets the usual functions of a harbour based on economical interests (exchange of goods, commercial profit, insurance issues) and its interim state between arriving, temporary belonging and leaving.  H/C diverts these functions to challenge a macro-utopia – a vision to create a (near) future society beyond geographical and mental borders, a heterotopia, as Foucault noted in Other Spaces (1967), highlighting the role of the ship:  “The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates”.
“Harbour” is a synonym for “arriving”, at a final destination, for being at “home” – as a promise or hope, even though this might be interimistic at the same time: we witness the complex tragedies of the refugee in recent years – many of them never arriving, not onto dry land, but even when they do so, hardly ever do they arrive into our societies.
Even though the point of departure for H/C is Trieste and her unresolved situation of the Porto Vecchio, which has remained unused and in a state of decay for decades, this project transgresses a real physical location.
H/C is collecting individual contributions by putting forward personal desires as integral elements to create communal profit based on human, social and societal values for living together by addressing the following questions:
_ How can arts and culture, artistic and curatorial strategies contribute to our society to counteract the current dismal state of democracy (in Europe) and an arts and cultural production predominantly orientated towards profit in the art-market?
_How can H/C create a harbour in the sense of “arriving” and “belonging” by addressing the burning issues and changing conditions we are faced with in the Mediterranean area and in Europe as a result of increasing social and economic injustice and wars?
_ How can H/C re-inforce the power of collective action and produce desires and visions beyond the increasing sense of helplessness experienced by large parts of society?
_ How can H/C reverse the desire for certainties and insurance against whatever problem might occur by reassuring the need for risk-taking, for engagement?
Other Spaces by Michel Foucault (1967)
Oblique Strategies by Brian Eno (1975)
The 10 issues of the Blue Frog Society by Barbara Holub (2010)

H/C concept by Giuliana Carbi, Barbara Holub, Elisabetta Porro and Paul Rajakovics.


8th CEI Venice Forum for Contemporary Art Curators from Central Eastern Europe.
HARBOUR FOR CULTURES. Continental Breakfast 2017.
Venice, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Palazzo Zorzi, Castello 4930)
May 12, 2017 [14.00 – 19.00]PART 2:
H/C Open Call
8th CEI VEnice Forum for Contemporary Art Curators. TRIESTE SESSION.
Trieste, Old Port, Magazzino delle Idee (corso Cavour, 2), Srudio Tommmaseo (via del Monte 2/1)October 28, 12.30-20.00]

[update: 15/10/2017]