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Giant Step is a project organized for the purpose of discovering the place of the institution within contemporary culture, with institutional change being the ultimate goal. To provide a range of perspectives, Giant Step involves two internationally established institutions, Van Abbemuseum (represented by Charles Esche) and MOSTYN | Wales (represented by Alfredo Cramerotti), and two that are less connected to a rigid institutional structure, vessel (represented by Viviana Checchia and Anna Santomauro in cooperation with Vlad Morariu) and Galeria Labirynt (represented by Magdalena Linkowska in cooperation with Anna Smolak and Magdalena Ujma). Giant Step begins by researching the specific issues and urgencies that occur in each of the local and national contexts where these institutions function (Italy, Netherlands, Poland, UK). In the second phase of the project, there will be an analysis of the various applications of cultural production in Europe in order to foster dynamic dialogue and discussion. The main goal of this project is to establish possible roles that institutions could play in the cultural production of a specific area, in order to respond to the needs of the area itself. In this process, Giant Step aims to develop the concept of an "ideal" institution, which entails the necessities of supporting and developing culture and creating critical dialogue ... This will be a multidisciplinary process carried out through the format of a "nomad symposium," which allows the application of efforts to a variety of local artistic communities and audiences. Due to high influence from the heritage of historical institutional critique, Giant Step will focus on relaying this material; local cultural operators will be provided with books, interviews, workshops, and talks, which will be the basis for the discussions. Multiple issues will be addressed, such as the adaptation of "traditional" cultural institutions to complicated economic, social, and cultural contexts, the ideal form of the institution and its production, and the adaptation of current formats to keep up with cultural and societal change. The Giant Step project has begun on January 9, 2012, with all partners starting their research activity with their local artistic and cultural communities in order to focus on aspects that will be discussed during the symposia. Each respective partner will have a separate timeframe for the Giant Step symposia. June 12th signals the start of activity production, with the first of the four symposia. Promoted by vessel, it will also found the basis for another important appointment of the Italian institution: vessel's International Curatorial Workshop, an intensive three days workshop for young curators from all over the world, which in this second edition, June 15–17, will deal with the theme of institutional critique. To participate in vessel's International Curatorial Course, submit to the open call by 24th of March 2012. At www.giant-step.org, it is possible to get further information about the project, the institutions involved and all the other activities connected to Giant Step.
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