Kunsthal Aarhus is lead partner of the EU-supported art project Excavating Contemporary Archaeology, which in the years 2018-2020 explores the diverse European cultural heritage. Through Excavating Contemporary Archaeology Kunsthal Aarhus and three other European art institutions will investigate how cultural heritage can inspire us with new perspectives on art, cultural history and cultural and historical identity.
The project is created in collaboration between four European art institutions; MUCEM (Marseille, France), AIR Antwerpen (Antwerpen, Belgium), Point (Nicosia, Cyprus) and Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark). Together with our partners, we invite a number of international artists to examine and interpret local cultural history through their own artistic practices. The artworks created in this process will be exhibited at the four art institutions throughout 2019 and all artworks will be exhibited at Kunsthal Aarhus in 2020.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage is organized by the European Commission. The aim of the year is to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. The slogan of the year is:
Our cultural heritage: where the past meets the future.
The European Commission states that: Cultural heritage has a universal value for us as individuals, communities and societies. It is important to preserve and pass on to future generations. What is more, our heritage has a big role to play in building the future of Europe. That is one reason why we want to reach out to young people in particular during the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
MuCEM (Marseilles, France) is the first national museum dedicated to the great civilisations of the Mediterranean. MuCEM is a multidisciplinary place open to all where anthropology, history, archaeology, art history and contemporary art find common meeting ground. It presents a cultural, social but also scientific exploration of the plurality of the civilisations existing in the Mediterranean world from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum implements education and activities that aim to ensure equal access to culture for all. MuCEM was inaugurated in 2013 but originates from the 19th century.
AIR Antwerpen (Antwerpen, Belgium) is an international residency for artists from all over the world. AIR is centered around the contemporary artistic practice and focuses on individual artistic needs of the emerging visual artist. The organisation guides the artist in a process-based project, with time and space as a premise for a site-specific and contextual practice. AIR encourages intercultural dialogue that arises from its local roots and the cultural, social and political current environment that Belgium offers. AIR was founded in 2005.
Point (Nicosia, Cyprus) is a non-profit organisation involved in the creative support and promotion of various fields of contemporary cultural production. Its international commissions focus on works that involve a relation to Point’s Eastern Mediterranean context. Point hosts a library, and its research department organizes seminars, workshops, lectures, events, educational programmes and the issuing of relevant publications. Point was founded in 2012.