One of the most attractive ideas for an artist to function within a society is to give him a role of THE ONE CROSSING THE BORDERS ON OUR BEHALF – the verifier of the myth, tester of last taboos, discoverer of new perspectives, destructor of habits and a fearbuster. Without the restrictions of conventions, free from the need to fill the crowd’s expectations, neglecting the cultural heritage and requirements of ethics the artist lets the society to look under the cover of common consciousness, to take a peek into the abyss of individual drama – to check if the rules are still our rules, if the order is still the same order we long for, if our key values are still worth anything. Despair, chaos, moral decadence, madness, experiments on the body and soul – this is where we send the artist, saying: go, you’ll tell us, how it’s been.
In the contemporary Europe, a melting pot of races, nations and religions, full of economical, intergenerational and intersexual struggles, where you avoid some sensitive historical subjects and where political correctness sets new trends of silence about everyday problems – this is where this apparently old-fashioned model of a transgressive artist is given a new dimension. Hanged between the glitzy, makeshift journalistic writing, the aesthetics of scandal and natural need for self-knowledge, distance or simply artistic escapism – there are artists in an exciting position that gives them lots of opportunities at the same time posing a threat.
To check what the chances of literature in this area are – in spite of different national cultures and historical experience – we asked writers from Poland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to take part in an experiment of some kind. In all these countries we plan to write, translate and read the stories, discuss them during the literary festivals, we will also produce an anthology of contemporary European transgression AD2014.
In April you can meet us in Schaan (6.04.2014), in May – in Lillehammer (21.05), between 1 and 5 October – at the 10th International Short Story Festival in Wroclaw, in the last week of October – in Reykjavik.
Institutions participating in the project: Towarzystwo Aktywnej Komunikacji (Poland), Literaturhaus Liechtenstein, Norsk Litteraturfestival (Norway), Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature (Iceland).