Artist Collective Espaço Agora Now wins 500,000 Euros for a Borderless Europe

Thursday, February 15, 2024
Artist Collective Espaço Agora Now wins 500,000 Euros for a Borderless Europe

The laureate of the 500,000.00 euros commissioning grant awarded by the European Cultural Foundation for curating and hosting The European Pavilion 2024 was announced at a press conference held at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on February 14.

Selected by an independent jury, the consortium led by the independent artists’ collective espaço agora now, and comprising the organisations FLOW, MS-Fusion, Teatro Meia Volta and United Artist Labour, presents Liquid Becomings: a traveling pavilion that takes the form of four boats sailing on four European rivers for twenty-eight days, before coming together in Lisbon for a final artistic programme in November 2024.

Naomi Russell, founder of espaço agora now: “We are incredibly proud that the jury chose our initiative. The format is atypical for several reasons: not only will there not be a physical pavilion, but the way Liquid Becomings is created is different in the sense that it is an artist-developed and artist-led initiative. Through Liquid Becomingswe will create many small agoras on four European rivers, where artists and communities come together to share lived experiences and co-create new narratives, addressing the complex polycrises of inequality and distrust, degradation of nature, climate change. By listening to the stories of ordinary Europeans outside the usual centers, among others, we want to contribute to redefining the future of Europe.”

Liquid Becomings is not a traditional Pavilion. It is not an exhibition. It is not even in a single location. Liquid Becomings is a journey, an adventure, a radical experiment. 

Setting sail on September 1 for 28 days, four boats will travel simultaneously along four European rivers: the Danube, the Vistula, the Rhine, and the Tagus, crossing a total of thirteen countries. Their crews of artists and captain will each focus on different themes: Ruins and Monsters, Perimeters, Togetherness, and Bodies and Politics. Each boat will make space for the communities and people they meet along the way to come together and share conversations and creativity, to explore and imagine the stories that will be told by the Europe of tomorrow – stories inspired by these four great waterways.

The boats, each with a crew of 5 artists and a captain, are committed to imagining alternative modes of togetherness. The artist crews will research ideas of new imaginaries, alternative living and speculative futures. Each of the boats are simple vessels that offer a simple, sustainable and slow mode of travel. We expect to experience the landscape, the elements and people who live on the rivers from a unique, connected perspective. This is a journey that is participative and contributory. 

In November the crews of all the boats will join forces in Lisbon. A three-day artistic programme celebrating polyphony, liminal spaces and itinerancy, will link the old port of Beato with Quinta Alegre, a socio-cultural complex located on the northern outskirts of Lisbon. The encounters and conversations, meals, rituals, stories from the journeys will be translated into a new mythology for Europe, told by artists and citizens. 

Main Image :MS-FUSION residency boats, photo by Rainer Prohaska.

Stephanie Cime

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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