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Heritage of the Portal European transition


									                         Heritage of Portal: European Crossings
                               Proposition for the Project

In this project we will research heritage of stone portals, characteristical for many regions in
Europe. Sculptors from different participating countries will work together in pairs, to
produce double-sided self-standing portals. In the works they will present own
interpretations, based on the previously prepared documentation on portals in their
homeland (or abroad). Also a catalogue, web-site, photographic material, as well as
symposium on portals will be set and organised. The main part of the project will take place
in Grosuplje, 15 km south of Ljubljana (Slovenian capital), while the exhibition with
documentation about the project will travel across participating countries.

1. Concept
From the very beginning of civilisation, portals have rendered material and conscious the passage
or threshold as a key space of change. Between the profane and sacred, between body and spirit,
between the past and future, between the external and internal, portals have served as the frames of
a living presence to ensure passability, in which humans have shaped their relationship with the
world. Yet in the modern "flood of images" the significance of such symbols has changed: often
they are pushed away and forgotten like an element of (outdated) tradition, as is apparently the case
in Dolenjska, the Slovenian region in which the idea of this project originated and where there is a
preserved heritage of painted relief stone portals. Certainly there are more such regions around
Europe, and it is also interesting to note the experiences from places where such architectural
heritage is better documented.

2. Project activities
The project is divided into four main sections:
    a. In the introductory phase, which will take place in individual participating countries, we
        will first research the traditional forms of portals, with an emphasis on portals in those
        locations where participants come from. Representatives of participating countries will
        photograph and document interesting portals in their regions, process the photographs on
        computer and prepare them for further work. In cooperation with the co-organisers we will
        carry out an evaluation of portals from the aspect of origin of material, textural anisotropy
        and the level and type of degradation of material, which will help us to select the optimal
        method of protecting the material. On the basis of these findings and the final selection of
        portals, which will be agreed at the meeting of coordinators, we will also begin selection of
        stone for working.
    b. Upon their arrival in Slovenia, participants will form working pairs, if possible from
        different countries, and begin work on original projects. Under the guidance of a mentor,
        each artist will sculpt one side of a free-standing portal, and the other side will be sculpted
        by his partner. The artists will base their work on documented traditional forms, which they
        will interpret freely. The process of working the stone and the progress of the project will
        be documented by expert photographs. In the first few days, in cooperation with the co-
        organisers, we will also hold a two-day seminar on portals.
    c. The material put together will be presented in a multi-language catalogue with
        accompanying texts by experts from participating countries, and a web portal where
        individual artists will be presented along with their works and photographs of their own
        process of working the stone.
    d. An exhibition of documented material will be transferred to individual participating
3. Setting and duration of project
Activities will take place below the castle of Boštanj near Grosuplje, location of the annual
international project "Grosuplje – city of sculptures". This location has excellent infrastructure: a
worksite in a large meadow, the possibility of accommodation, a covered terrace for conversation
and work, an exhibition gallery and room for seminars. Equally, the local people have grown
accustomed to the annual sculpture projects and the response is improving from year to year.

4. Expected cooperation of the co-organisers in establishing the project (PROPOSITION!)
Co-organisers will be expected to collect the material on portals in their home regions, and they
will also animate potential project participants. They will be expected to participate at meetings of
coordinators and in project preparation. After the symposium concludes, in their own countries
they will be expected to organise exhibitions of documentary material and ensure the promotion of
the project.

We welcome further ideas and comments for implementation of the project.

Andrej Srakar,
Sculpture Association

Zavod za kiparstvo / Sculpture Association
Križevniška ul. 2, 1001 Ljubljana
T: 00386 590 19 331
GSM: 00386 41 336 298
F: 00386 590 19 570

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