The Nieuwstraat is an average street in the center of Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
The Nieuwstraat Festival took place in June 2020. During the day works of 20 international artists were executed by 16 volunteers.
The 2nd Nieuwstraat Festival will take place in May, 2021, between sunrise and sunset. The performances will again be performed by volunteers, unannounced and without explanation.The performances take place in everyday environments and hide the unusual within the usual. Passers-by will observe the actions, but may not recognise them as performance art.
Please describe your concept in a clear and accessible language, more or less as a manual. The performances will be carried out by (often unexperienced) volunteers. Don’t forget to mention the preferred time of the day (in relation to the opening and closing of shops, outdoor cafes, the fruit/vegetable-market). We can only accept your submission if you include links to a website or page with some information about your practice.
The Nieuwstraat Festival fits in a series of Unnoticed Art Festivals. It balances on the line between public and private. It shows artworks hiding in normality. The language, used to express the works, fits in the average social behaviour in public space and, because of that, remained unnoticed to bystanders.
Creating the concepts and executing the works are split. Artists send their concepts more or less as manuals. The chosen works are carried out by a group of (both experienced and unexperienced) volunteers. These volunteers have a double roll. They are participants as well as audience. They are responsible for realising the performances in the best possible way and, doing that, they fully experience the works. In fact they become part of it.This way the audience is not excluded but it is actually embedded.
The Nieuwstraat is an average street in the center of Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
The Nieuwstraat Festival took place on June 20, 2020, between sunrise and midnight. The performances were performed by volunteers, unannounced and without explanation.
The performances involved took place in everyday environments and hid the unusual within the usual. Passers-by will have observed the actions, but may not have recognized them as performance art.
The Nieuwstraat Festival fits in a series of Unnoticed Art Festivals. It balances on the line between public and private. It shows artworks hiding in normality. The language, used to express the works, fits in the average social behaviour in public space and, because of that, remained unnoticed to bystanders. Creating the concepts and executing the works are split. Artists send their concepts more or less as manuals. The chosen works are carried out by a group of (both experienced and unexperienced) volunteers. These volunteers have a double roll. They are participants as well as audience. They are responsible for realising the performances in the best possible way and, doing that, they fully experience the works. In fact they become part of it.
This way the audience is not excluded but it is actually embedded.
The works in the Nieuwstraat Festival were performed by:
Safanja Bendeler, Stefanie van den Bos, Louwrens Botha, Malou van Doormaal, Kirsten Heshusius, Jolanda Jansen, Ienke Kastelein, Frans van Lent, Steef van Lent, Nico Parlevliet, Leonard Passchier, Jello Reumer, ieke Trinks, Emmy Vollaard, Kamila Wolszczak, Iris van Wijk.
Het Nieuwstraat Festival vindt plaats op een onaangekondigde dag van zonsopgang tot middernacht.
We zijn op zoek naar ± 15 vrijwilligers van verschillende leeftijden om de werken uit te voeren. Je hoeft geen ervaring of een artistieke achtergrond of beroep te hebben. De performances vinden plaats zonder voorafgaande kennisgeving en worden uitgevoerd als normale dagelijkse bezigheden in de openbare ruimte. De performers zullen niet op zoek gaan naar speciale aandacht, zullen zich niet verhouden tot een anticiperend publiek, zullen geen spektakel creëren.
Als je denkt dat dit iets voor jou is, stuur dan voor 10 juni een paar regels over je persoonlijke motivatie naar firstname.lastname@example.org. Een week voor het festival is er een voorbereidingsbijeenkomst voor vrijwilligers (met de nodige afstand) op een veld in een openbaar park in Dordrecht.
Bij die gelegenheid zullen we de concepten bespreken, de mogelijke manieren om de werken uit te voeren, de houding en de verwachtingen.
Stuur je mail voor woensdag 10 juni, 23:59 uur (CEST). Begrijp alsjeblieft dat het festival geen budget heeft.
The Nieuwstraat is an average street in the city center of Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
The festival will take place in this street on Saturday 20 June 2020, between sunrise and midnight. From the received submissions, a varied program will be compiled. The performances will be carried out by volunteers, unannounced and with no explanation.
Taking place in everyday settings, the performances involve hiding the unusual within the usual. Passersby may perceive these actions, but not recognize them as performance art.
The Open Call:
Please describe your concept in a clear and accessible language, more or less as a manual. The performances will be carried out by (often unexperienced) volunteers.
Don’t forget to mention the preferred time of the day (in relation to the opening and closing of shops, outdoor cafes, the fruit/vegetable-market).
We can only accept your submission if you include links to a website or page with some information about your practice.
Unnoticed Art will be presented at Platforms Project, Athens, Greece.
May 20 – May 25 2017
Open Call for small artworks!
In the best traditions of unnoticed art we will present an empty gallery. Our three staff members will wear a casual jacket and by showing the inside of this jacket a collection of art works will be presented to randomly selected individual passers-by. Your work can be part of these special exhbitions.
Send us one to three small (crafted or ready-made) pieces of art, texts, photo’s or drawings.
There will be a selection procedure, so sending us a work is no guarantee it will be added to the show.
Max.size of each piece:
Important: Your work must be acceptable for police, for customs and it should fit the standard flight regulations. It will be transported in hand-luggage.
Send your piece(s) to:
Deadline is May 13 2017 at 23:59 h
The list of included works will be published on this page at May 15.
The title Unnoticed Art Festival raises questions for me and that’s good I think. Art is already too often marginalized and should be very present in my opinion. The second edition of the festival was marked in my agenda on 24, 25 and June 26, 2016. Until then artists had the possibility to send in their concept proposals and finally it was up to a group of volunteers to perform a selection.
Friday evening we gathered at the train station in Utrecht, the final destination was unknown for all of us. The exact meeting location; Burger King next to platform 14/15. The place where people rush to buy some junk food while they have just enough time to switch their trains. Thursday initiator Frans van Lent corrected our ‘image’ of this meeting place with an e-mail: “Burger King has been replaced by a Hema.” Nothing is fixed these days, the usual business at top locations.
The online dictionary tells me that the meaning of Unnoticed is “not perceived or observed”, but is it actually possible to be unnoticed? The artist Heinrich Obst decided to find out for himself with his contribution: do not meet me. there a work in which he took the concept of the festival literally and decided to disappear himself. While he was reported missing by the group of performers he noted later that his attempt to disappear had failed when he received the bill on his hideout. This example seems simple but to mention it here for me is essential.
I think out of context seems to me much better instead of unnoticed and this can be an important vehicle for social reflection. The feeling of being ‘unnoticed’ often appears after stepping out of a certain order and by doing so one becomes less noticed. I experienced as a participant that it felt sometimes as if to be part of a secret community (disconnected) and therefore the experience of the performance stayed more introvert between the group who knew and the performer itself. The festival is a beautiful initiative where people enjoy playing with each other and experience what it feels like to play together in an unfamiliar city. The white walls are missing here but still you do not feel a connected public space as if society lacks the ability for contact.
My love for this festival appears most of all in all these aspects in which it differs from the usual festivals. Maybe it is even better not to call this a festival. Because it is not operating in favor of local politicians and serving a city branding agenda and it is not part of the established art scene. It is as free as it can be in our repressive economic environment. This is both its strength but also its weakness. From this marginal unannounced position important opportunities arise and if I am sincere I do wonder whether all these opportunities were actually fully exploited.
Therefore, I would like to attempt to articulate the pitfalls of this alleged invisibility. It is in my view a missed opportunity when an artist places a representation of his image made of cardboard at the opening party. I also do find it inappropriate to serve crazy concepts with the knowledge that you yourself are not the one who has to actually perform it in the city. Invisibility is a dangerous and serious game because you never play alone. An appropriate responsibility is therefore necessary. It is tempting to imagine yourself autonomous but before you know it you import the introverted bubble of the white cube within the city.
We sometimes seem to forget that we are part of an invisible and complex power structure that has already observed us long ago. The rich palette of interconnections to which we are exposed as we move is far from neutral. It is a naive thought to place unnoticed art here in a central position. I think it is much more important to construct hybrid imaging applications that are able to fully seduce a certain spot to open itself.
The importance and the complexity to do so became clear with Denial-of-Service. We advised clients on the available deals in an Albert Heijn supermarket and asked people to join a collective action where we tried to empty a table with discounted pineapples. We intended to investigate the influence that customers can have on the shop offerings. Many people looked away or were in a hurry. We were unable to get enough attention to explain that this was a collective action with a shared goal and not about the individual question whether or not you yourself were a fan of pineapples. While we were supportive to the shop owners advising their clients on the best available deals both Jumbo and the AH liked to stop our intentions. Twice we got a lesson in economics. Together as performers we agreed that if we wanted to continue, our strategy had to be adjusted.
The passivity with which you as an individual without any problem may experience a sense of freedom in a city that is shaped by commerce will change once you actively decide to engage playfully and differently to this very same surrounding. You will quickly discover an image that stays too often unnoticed…