Ljubljana-based cultural and artistic association KUD Mreža (Kulturno & Umetniško Društvo Mreža) is active ever since the founding of Metelkova mesto in order to improve the alternative cultural centre’s infrastructure and productional conditions, always focusing on the independent local cultural and art scene. Since 1996 we are successfully managing Alkatraz Gallery, and Studio Asylum for longer residency programmes since 2006. Between 2000 and 2014 KUD Mreža had been managing cultural and youth center Menza Pri Koritu. From 2004 we have been working with local and international artists from the field of urban art. Furthermore, in the past two decades we are providing the audio-, video- and documentary archive of Metelkova mesto as Metelkova Archive. In addition to the long-standing efforts for the rational self-management of Metelkova, KUD Mreža provides financial funds from the Ministry Of Culture Slovenia, Municipality Of Ljubljana (Department Of Culture and Office For Youth), European Social Fund (in conjunction with the Ministry Of Culture), European Cultural Foundation – and many others. KUD Mreža has extensive experience with organization of cultural work in all areas that are necessary for quality implementation of large-scale events, projects or programs. KUD Mreža team is always ready for new proposals for co-operation, KUD Mreža offers practical help to inexperienced organizers and offers assistance in finding financial support for emerging artists. Since 2000 the association has the status of public interest in the field of culture, and since 2012 has the status of public interest in the field of youth.
– Concert series FriForma & Metabonma –
KUD Mreža’s free improvised music and free jazz concert series Džez Pri Koritu had been held at cultural and youth center Menza Pri Koritu from 2007 until 2015, and got renamed in 2016 as FriForma – as the name suggests still focusing on free improvised music, curated by Nataša Serec and László Juhász. Nowadays FriForma takes place at various venues in Ljubljana such as Klub Gromka, Museum Of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM), Vodnikova Domačija Šiška, Kapelica Gallery, ŠKUC Gallery, Fran Vesel’s Garden at The Slovenian Association Of Fine Arts Sociaties, Pocket Teater Studio or St. James’s Parish Church.
Džez Pri Koritu had invited and hosted artists such as Marc Ribot, Tristan Honsinger, Linda Sharrock, Keith Rowe, Martin Küchen, Seijiro Murayama or Kazutoki Umezu. Since 2016, FriForma has worked with musicians such as Taku Sugimoto, John Butcher, Rie Nakajima, Alex Ward, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Jean-Luc Guionnet or Seymour Wright – and most importantly, has initiated numerous international collaborations between local and invited musicians.
Concert series FriForma is complemented by Metabonma, a series for staging classical and contemporary composed music, curated by Jože Bogolin and Simon Klavžar. Since 2014, Metabonma has presented artists such as Andrea Centazzo, Mate Bekavac, Bruce Hamilton, Marko Hatlak, Valentine Collet, Slovenian saxophone quartet 4Saxess or percussion duo Drumartica. The event series is happening exclusively at Klub Gromka at Metelkova where classical composed music is rarely presented.
– Festivals Red Dawns & Improcon –
KUD Mreža has been organizing the annual International Feminist And Queer Festival Red Dawns since 2000, bringing concerts, exhibitions, multimedia projects, performances and lectures to a great number of alternative venues in Ljubljana.
In 2015, KUD Mreža joined Improcon – Congress Of Free Improvised Music, Arts & Thoughts, an international workshop festival for improvised arts, organized by Croatian association Gokul and Slovenian organization Klub Metulj – Youth Centre Bistrica ob Sotli; partnered by two Austrian organizations, Šopron Shuffle from Vienna and Graz-based Schaumbad.
– Urban Art Projects & Kid And Youth Activities –
Since 2004, KUD Mreža has been running a programme called Urban Art Projects, also called Gesamtkunstwerk Metelkova mesto. The project is devoted to renovations and artistic augmentations of public spaces in and around Metelkova. By now, the programme is responsible for more than hundred projects, from smaller interventions with semi-permanent installations to bigger ones, such as park sculptures. Beside Alkatraz Gallery, KUD Mreža also runs the unique Night Window Display Gallery Pešak which exhibits special light-based artworks behind the glass windows of one of Metelkova’s buildings, and can be seen consequently also by a telescope placed on a tower nearby.
KUD Mreža also runs programmes for educating kids and youngsters about cultural centre Metelkova. In collaboration with schools from Ljubljana, KUD Mreža – occasionally in collaboration with other institutions such as Bunker Institute – organizes guided tours and visits to ateliers, art galleries, urban art projects and even concerts at Metelkova. Various children workshops are regularly happening within KUD Mreža’s Kid & Youth Activities-projects.
Since 2013, the association collaborates with kindergarten Vodmat in Ljubljana where we plan the content and provide the conditions for kindergarten education through artistic experience with using techniques such as graphite, stencil, animation or musical improvisation. Since 2016, KUD Mreža has been devoted to creating stop-motion animations involving small children. In 2016 the jury of Little Elephant – International Festival Of Children And Youth Film awarded our animated short film entitled Nosy Rabbit with the first prize in “Mini” category.
KUD Mreža is in close collaboration with Festival Reciklart, an art festival of recycling and DIY-culture. The purpose of the festival is the active involvement of children in co-creation of the event by participating in workshops, helping to create collective artworks, exhibiting at Alkatraz Gallery, and creating and listening to music while emphasizing the issue of consumer, capitalist society with its “hyper” production creates dependent society members. Festival Reciklart is organized by Nevena Aleksovski and Danijela Zajc.
– International projects –
In 2013, KUD Mreža became part of the international research project named The Future Of Work, and led a consortium – featuring Projekthaus Potsdam-Babelsberg and Zaaigrond Filmproductions – that secured financing by the European Cultural Fund. The Future Of Work is a four episode web-documentary by artists Abel Heijkamp and Julij Borštnik who are documenting their research into contemporary labour conditions in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany – and in Europe in general.
KUD Mreža also participated in Trans Europe Halles, a European Network Of Independent Cultural Centres with Metelkova, by hosting the annual Trans Europe Halles meeting in 2006.
KUD Mreža’s present projects are kindly supported by: