tranzit is a unique network of civic associations working independently in the field of contemporary art in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania and across the borders of a wider Europe. Its main goal is to support and articulate emancipatory practices, establish connections between culture and society by moving across geographies, generations, and political realms.
For more than a decade, tranzit has been a critical (and self-critical) platform, which challenged established canons of post-war European (art) histories. It has promoted contemporary art practices, theory and social discourses with an aim to contribute to present-day mobilizations of solidarity and community-building in a Europe of narrowing nationalism, cultural essentialism, growing economic egoism, and social as well as gender inequality.
Each tranzit works under its own conditions in a variety of local cultural and social contexts, using different formats and methods to contextualize, generate or host theoretical, artistic and activist debates around today’s urgencies. Activities range from exhibitions, thematic projects, seminars, publications based on long-term research and participatory interventions into the public discourse.
We believe in the liberty of the contemporary art institution to lead a risky, unframed, poetical and political research; in experiments; in transgressive, resistant, localized and situated concepts of cultural practices, in experimental forms of education and research; and in impure theory.
ERSTE Foundation is main part of tranzit.
tranzit.sk’s earlier activity (2002 – 2013) concentrated mostly on re-evaluating recent Central Eastern European art histories, and granting visibility to local and regional contemporary art practices within an international context. Alongside this orientation, an explicit focus on the social function of art and on current topics has been developed since 2014. Examples include representation of minorities, collective practices, urban ecologies, alternative education, conditions of artistic production. This program manifests itself in research-based exhibitions, lectures, discussions, reading groups, workshops and publications, which besides artists, art theorists and curators, involve producers from other cultural fields, as well as scientists and activists. By crossing disciplines and enabling collective knowledge production and sharing, it aims to contribute to the self-empowerment of individuals and groups of people.
tranzit.sk commits itself to be a responsive institution, to identify the needs of its immediate artistic and social environment, and react to them by following its basic principles – responsibility, critical thinking, experimentation, hospitality and collaboration.
Recently tranzit.sk has embarked upon longer-term projects like Nadikhuno muzeumos (Invisible Museum), which deals with the institutional representation of Romani culture, or Urban Imagination Seminar, an interdisciplinary co-learning format aimed at envisioning a sustainable and just future for cities and their inhabitants, both human and non-human alike. In the years to come, tranzit.sk wishes to continue experimenting with forms of knowledge production and the generation of experience, strengthen its local and international network and mediate between activities coming from various fields with a potential for change.