Gemene Grond has a unique position in Utrecht as a bridge builder between the city and the local authorities. We bring them together and we want everyone to take part. Joint responsibility forms the bedrock of this art programme. That means that all people and organisations taking part in the programme alongside Gemene Grond can give input. We’re experimenting with neighbourhood councils and inviting artists to come and live and work with us. As such it is a truly communal effort. But everyone is expected to remain critical: when it grates that will be reflected in the art.
We want to work together with the Utrecht city council. That’s because we feel that we can successfully bridge the gap between the city and the local authority.
UTRECHT’S CULTURE SECTOR
On starting out we’ll be inviting a broad swathe of cultural organisations in Utrecht to come and talk. Subsequently we’ll be meeting with artists for exploratory talks to link them with these cultural organisations. Artists will be encouraged to come up with ideas that fit well with their and our strong points – that way we’ll reap the maximum benefit from local collaborations.
Local residents will also be invited to come up with ideas and take part. Gemene Grond aims to set up programme councils comprising residents and organisations. These councils will enable people to suggest themes of their own and express their ideas. Gemene Grond undertakes to look seriously at the possibilities of any given situation. In addition residents can make their voices heard by temporarily joining the team of art advisors. Not only residents, but also project developers and entrepreneurs will be involved in the art programme, enabling us to implement their expertise and ensuring that everyone feels responsible for the public spaces we’ll be tackling.
We believe it’s important to look beyond our immediate circle. We’re well aware of our subjectivity and that in designing the city certain voices are missing from the table. We consider it important that those voices from within the neighbourhood are brought to the fore. We aim for change by working together with residents and artists, through a programme council that is made up of local residents; the people who work and live in the area.