Project / About
EASTERN SUGAR is an international, interdisciplinary, contemporary visual art project with strong focus on artistic research. Project reflects the recent facets of European history through the case of sugar industry in Central Europe. By the means of artistic research, curatorial cooperation, creation of new artworks, five international group exhibitions, participative installations, public and educational programs, and a comprehensive interdisciplinary publication the project investigates the “clearing” process of the Central-European sugar production. Thus, sugar can be understood as a metaphor for the notion of Europe and world under constant transformation. EASTERN SUGAR strives to bring the attention to the history of sugar industry in Central Europe and to place it on the global map of the story of sugar. While doing so, it considers colonial impact of the past as well as the present.
30 years after 1989, the project intends to reflect on what impact had these changes on the Central European countries and Europe as such – especially considering the economic conditions, the aftermath of the so-called wild privatization of the early 1990s, the sudden shift to capitalism, globalization and adapting to the rules of the free market, as well as rules and regulations coming with the accession to the European Union.
Taking the sugar industry in Slovakia as a starting point, a case study or a metaphor, the Eastern Sugar invites to expand the discussion and critical reflection of the impact of socialist and neoliberal economics in the countries of CE and beyond. Impulse for this undertaking is the already started research and exhibition of Ilona Németh at Kunsthalle Bratislava in 2018 that calls to be broadened on an international scale.
Using the language of contemporary arts, the Eastern Sugar aims to shed a light on the social consequences of past political and entrepreneurial decisions, to pose the question of responsibility, to diagnose the roots of the present crisis. But most of all, this project intends to explore possibilities for better understanding of such procedures in the present and their future consequences. It conveys a belief, that by learning about and understanding of our common past, we are better equipped to take informed decisions which impact our common future.