Terminal 12 was a programme strand seeking to incorporate all artistic genres, ranging from film, theatre and literature to architecture and visual arts. All events shared a common feature in that they were all prominent, carefully selected projects with a unique artistic vision and a radical approach to content and execution.
Alongside the scheduled events, Terminal 12 built upon the existing programmes of selected theatres, galleries, cinemas, concert venues and other artistic institutions. For the first time in history of the town, the year of ECoC Maribor 2012 provided the town with a chance to host a vast number of world-class productions, ranging from grand philharmonics and internationally-acclaimed theatre productions, an incredibly vibrant popular and club music programme, to leading architectural projects, acclaimed European art exhibitions and visits from foreign intellectuals and writers. Audiences had the opportunity to enjoy multi-layered cultural productions from all corners of the globe, as well as numerous ambitious Slovene productions. The leitmotif of all Terminal 12 events was raising key questions regarding our current state, our future and, in particular, the role of art in the times yet to come.
THE STAGE BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE EARTH
The Terminal 12 programme consisted of a number of internationally-acclaimed foreign performance art productions, selected by consultants Jana Pavlič and Tomaž Toporišič, in cooperation with the head of the Terminal 12 programme strand. The productions, presented under the title The Stage Between the Sky and the Earth, are considered some of the world’s most staggering stage productions, with the variety of the performances exceeding the boundaries of traditional theatre. Circus, cabaret, striptease, acrobatics, traditional Japanese dance theatre, theatre with royal horses and grand theatre spectacles with numerous performers are coupled with a wide range of Slovene events in domestic or foreign co-productions. The programme has been created with a broad and varied spectre of audiences in mind – from the youngest theatre-goers to the most demanding theatre connoisseurs. Each performance was an original piece of theatre, touching the audiences with beautiful imagery, aesthetic depth, skills and abilities of the performers, inventiveness, playfulness or the powerful energy it exuded. The artists scheduled to appear in Maribor as part of the Terminal 12 programme included distinguished theatre names, as well as artists known for their rebellious nature and individuality. Be it the former or the latter, all artists have devoted their lives to art, not unlike modern day shamans and story-tellers embarking on a journey. The artists stemmed from various parts of Europe, Japan and the USA; les ballets C de la B Alain Platel (Belgium); Cabaret New Burlesque (USA); Radu Stanca National Theatre Silviu Purcarete (Romania); Equestrian Arts Academy Versailles with Bartabas; Victoria Chaplin in Jean-Baptist Thiérrée (both France); Sankai Juku (Japan) and the world premiere of the grand magician of modern theatre Jan Fabre (Belgium).
The Slovene premieres showcased the results of a prolific collaboration between Slovene and foreign artists in a variety of genres: the artistic visions ranged from the aspiring theatre and dance creations of the Maribor National Theatre; past an homage to the avant-garde Gestus; discovering the artistic approach of Matjaž Berger and APT Novo Mesto in The Man With the Bombs; witnessing the unveiling of new performance art venues by forming new ties between Slovene, Austrian, Japanese, Croatian, and American artists; to the groups En-Knap and Superamas, Pandur Theaters and HNK, Bunker Betontanc and Original Tempo; to the unusual new project by the legendary maestro of Slovene modern theatre Dušan Jovanović and his Funeral Fashion Show and, finally, to Lorenci’s new reading of Büchner’s Dante’s Death, a drama on the impossibility of revolution, which teams up the Slovene Youth Theatre with Ptuj Theatre. Pondered from a distance, the events formed a circular story, yet each individual performance had the power to linger with the viewer, forming a path to a secret door the viewer never thought existed. The key to unravelling this magnificent tale of theatre, which was written and told throughout 2012, was hidden within the audience. After all, the events have been lovingly crafted for each and every member of the audience.
KEY NAMES IN WORLD LITERATURE AND THE ARTS
The Dvanajst project was the undisputed foundation of the Terminal 12 programme strand. In 2012, Maribor, or one of the partner towns, hosted 12 international guests who are considered exceptional, leading figures in their respective fields of art or philosophy. The criteria of the selection process were based on the invitees serving as global representatives in their respective fields of expertise. With that in mind, the guests were asked to present their views and opinions on carefully selected issues regarding the future of society. Within the Dvanajst project, Slovenia hosted, among others, Charles Simic, Boris Groys, Jan Fabre, Rebecca Horn, Tzvetan Todorov, Garry Kasparov, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Vikas Swarup. Each guest presented a personal view of the future and shared an artistic, social and philosophical vision with the widest possible spectre of audiences. The events were held in lecture or essay form, accompanied by a public discussion. By participating in this event and sharing their ideas, these twelve exceptional masterminds and authors weaved a web of visions, which may have appeared as a purely idealistic act, but nonetheless served as a vital act of topography for our spiritual survival. This exceptional artistic and media event undoubtedly put Maribor firmly on the global map of creative environments. The events were marked by special publications in Slovene translation, featuring the guests’ personal views and opinions on the future. A comprehensive compilation of all contributions was released in the final, thirteenth publication.
VISUAL ART AND FASHION
In various and multi-faceted events, Terminal 12 sought to highlight architectural projects, with the project 2112Ai (Arhitekturna inteligenca/Architectural Intelligence), led by Tom Kovac, surely attracting the most attention. Calls for participation have been extended to leading researchers and architects, as well as designers and urban planners, critics, architectural companies and organisations from across the globe (U.K., Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, U.S.A., China and Australia). The multi-disciplinary workshops and laboratories served a dual purpose: architectural schools created a vision of Maribor in 2112 and sought out potential development projects. The resulting ideas were presented at the 100YC exhibition (Town Century) in August 2012. The exhibition featured only the most daring and visionary projects – those, which had the power to transform Maribor from a post-industrial town into a town of the future, with technological development firmly at the fore.
The exhibition Art Always Wins marked the highlight of the Terminal 12 series of four exhibitions by renowned European artists.
The exhibition Art Kept Me Out of Jail! was a presentation of the creative oeuvre of Belgian multi-media artist, dramatist and internationally-acclaimed set designer Jan Fabre. Audiences were given a chance to see documentary footage of Fabre’s best stage work and the joint performance by Fabre and Marina Abramović, entitled Virgin/Warrior, which took place in the Palais de Tokio in Paris.
The exhibition Silent Revolutions/Modern Slovene Design chronicled the important and often crucial landmarks in the history of Slovene design, be it a new creative mind-set or a turn in the direction of design. The exhibition featured more than twenty-five carefully selected pieces and marked the first extensive international presentation of Slovene product design in the last two decades.
The exhibition Beautiful painting is behind us united nearly 40 internationally-acclaimed as well as less prominent artists from France and Slovenia, who entered the world of art in the late 1980s, early 1990s or later. In this particular period, the cultural sphere of both countries was marked by a crisis of fine arts, caused by the boom of the new era experienced a decade prior. The exhibition was created in collaboration with the French institute Charles Nodier from Ljubljana and was curated by Eva Hober, who runs the Eva Hober Gallery in Paris.
German artist Rebecca Horn is best known for her modifications of the body. Her work carries social, political and historical connotations and sets out to pose questions, seek answers and establish a dialogue with the audience. The exhibition in Maribor featured larger, mostly inter-media installations, videos and other pieces, which represent Horn’s collaborations with other artists and her students. A section of the exhibition was curated by the artist herself, who thus the opportunity to present the work of her best students.
Radar Project, presented in Maribor for the first time under the auspices of Terminal 12, was a completely different project. The three-day event served as an opportunity for encouraging cooperation and networking in business, the development of the fashion industry and the promotion of design at home and abroad. In 2012, young designers and established Slovene and foreign players in the world of fashion presented their work in fashion shows, exhibitions, video presentations, workshops and round tables. The authors presented the latest trends in fashion design, tendencies in the development of the textile and clothing industry in Slovenia and clothing collections – not limited to a particular season – which best expressed the relationship between various design approaches, knowledge, personal development and expression, and the experience of time and space.
FOR MUSIC LOVERS
Audiences were given a grand opportunity to witness and hear first-class classical and non-classical music performances. Ivo Pogorelić and the Zagreb Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko, performed at the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor in March. The programme featured Chopin’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in E minor (op. 11) and Brahms’ Symphony no. 2 in D major (op. 73). The great pianist Ivo Pogorelić is a synonym for Chopin’s music and his interpretations both divide and delight the entire cultural world. The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, with a 140-year tradition, is also the cultural ambassador for the Republic of Croatia. The orchestra is closely associated with renowned Croatian conductors and some of the most famous conductors in the world, including the Russian conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko, who, since winning the 1969 Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1969, had stood at the helm of some of the most prestigious ensembles in the world.
Maribor Festival, one of the most prestigious music events in Slovenia, brought music to Maribor from the end of August to mid-September. Artistic director Richard Tognetti, violinist and chamber musician of Austrian descent, presented a programme which not only transcended clichés, but delighted audiences with musical delicacies on a larger-scale. The festival boasted the latest trends in classical music and premieres, alongside multi-media projects and premieres of ethnic and jazz music. Mixed together, the various genres resulted in a musical event which managed to surpass the borders of classical music. The line-ups included a number of eminent virtuosos, who appeared either as soloists or members of the on-the-spot Festival Orchestra. Together with members of the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, the musicians partook in a unique musical workshop. Maribor Festival also attracted promising young musicians, providing them with an opportunity for high-level promotion, and thus contributed to the revitalisation of Maribor’s cultural heritage by using historical buildings as performance venues.
When scheduling and preparing the Terminal 12 programme, the more demanding fans of non-classical genres were definitely not forgotten. Since the Styrian capital is known for its lack of quality music events, Terminal 12 set out to change this perception by organising, alongside numerous other events, the cross-border Mars Festival, which earned the title of one of the most memorable gigs in Slovenia in recent history by hosting Moby at last year’s instalment. Mars festival is a Slovene-Croatian speciality, since it is held in a Slovene and later in a Croatian town. In 2012, the event was organised in Maribor and Zagreb, respectively. In its four years of existence, the response of the expert and general public has clearly shown that the festival’s distinct character –meshing musical and creative forces onstage – results in a truly exceptional music event. Alongside world-renowned stars, the festival offered young musicians the rare opportunity to share the stage with the biggest names of the local and international music scene. In 2012, the festival featured world-acclaimed Icelandic mellow-rock group Sigur Ros and the promising Slovene band Melodrom.
Autumn began with the sounds of jazz in the background, as three spectacular jazz events dropped their tunes in Maribor. In September, the young international European jazz orchestra, featuring musicians from 17 countries, performed at the Štuk Hall. In October, the self-taught legends of gypsy swing, The Rosenberg trio and violinist Tim Kliphuis, conquered the stage of the Lent Festival Hall. In November, the same venue hosted what just might prove to be the biggest treat for jazz lovers: jazz legend Chick Corea Trio.