Dear colleagues and friends,
we are writing on behalf of the Cofestival team of curators and producers, as we felt the need to share the process of selecting, curating, and producing the works featured at the festival.
The idea of Cofestival began in 2011, and you can read about its genesis and the way we have navigated through its history here. Ljubljana has a wild and dynamic festival scene, so Cofestival had to find its own place within this rich landscape. Since 2016, Cofestival takes place in the second half of November, and lasts for about seven full days. We, the curatorial team, start working on the next edition immediately after the current edition is finished. We attempt to complete the program by the end of May the following year, even though it is sometimes difficult with the rhythms of financing that we have.
We select works by invitation, and often by creating artistic frameworks to which we invite artists to contribute. We take the time to look at each proposal that comes to us, from any side, and discuss it.
We do not work with a topical frame set in advance; we simply see what the works that arrive speak about, what we see as the very reality of that moment, our own reality, the reality of the artists we want to invite, the political reality, and imagine how all this would unfold into the reality of the festival. We also believe that stating a topic very loudly would perhaps go against what we do, which is always more complex than a single-line topic could manage.
By organizing the festival in this way, we ensure that there are different generations of artists present; that there is a balance between the localities of the artists, between the already established artists and the experimental works.
Over the years, we have received more and more proposals. Even though we are very curious to find out about works by others than the “usual suspects”, we sometimes take more time than we would like to take a look at every proposal.
As we are five curators, we like to cultivate the process of dialogue, learning and dissent, rather than to neutralize and persuade each other. We tend to work with different timings, some topics and frameworks stay with us for years, while with others we leave the space for them to pop up and surprise us, as we always work with bridges between contemporary art and contemporary society.
In the future, we would like to work more with creating spaces for the public (as opposed to “audiences”), as we feel that a certain number of our colleagues from Slovenia and abroad have developed sense of belonging to the festival, which we appreciate, and which also creates a sense of noble duty on our side.
We thank you for being patient with our late responses, and we thank you for supporting the festival through the years – this support and long-term relation is the foundation that creates the sense and motivation for the years to come.
The Cofestival team