Renewed Structures

Cities have quickly become a malleable arena for architects, festivals and artists. Whilst places like Edinburgh offer profoundly historic contexts, they have also evolved into major hubs for contemporary culture, each year hosting an extraordinary cultural presentation. Sorcha Carey (Director of Edinburgh Art Festival) and host Steven Gartside (Holden Gallery) expand on the potential to uncover new perspectives in the historic city and the opportunities for promotion and programming amidst an array of festivals all jostling for space and audience.

Jasmina Cibic employs a range of media and theatrical tactics in order to redefine a specific ideological construct, such as art and architecture. I draw a parallel between national culture and its value for political aims, encouraging the viewer to consider the timelessness of psychological and soft power mechanisms that authoritarian structures utilise. Tear Down and Rebuild was shot in the former Palace of the Federation in Belgrade, which hosted the inaugural conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Used as an iconic theatre for the representation of a new state, the building stands today as an empty theatre box, devoid of its actors – the failed states. The script presents a nation builder, a pragmatist, a conservationist and an artist-architect who become a reflection of figurative deliberation, a rhetoric that endorses demolition and redesign as necessary processes in the creation of new nation-states or philosophical positions.

Tear Down and Rebuild will be displayed at York Art Gallery from 26 May as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize 2017 shortlist. For more information:

Future Now Session 8 – The Contemporary in Historical Settings: The Creative City runs 25 May at York St John University. For more information:

1. Trailer for Jasmina Cibic’s Tear Down and Rebuild, 2015. Single channel HD video, stereo. 15min 28sec.