From February the 5th to the 11th Citizens of Rijeka and visitors to the city have experienced a living story of the historic industrial port and railway strip. Since December 2013, artists Nadija Mustapić and Toni Meštrović have been creating a multi-channel, site-specific audio/video work titled Čekaonica za ljude, strojeve i grad (A Waiting Room for People, Machines, and the City), which was installed in an open public place: the railway station waiting room.
A Waiting Room for People, Machines, and the City is the result of the process of capturing audio and video footage of the Rijeka port, its piers and docks, warehouses, silos, the nearby railway strip with the train station, the old locomotive turn-table, the lighthouse, and the oil refinery. These sites are meaningful to the city and people: historically, strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and mythologically. As the port builds a new dock to extend its capacity, the waiting room at the train station is a rarely visited place. A Waiting Room for People, Machines and the City invited an examination of this space, its condition, its meanings, and its potential.
The work has been commissioned by Musagetes, an arts organization based in Canada that makes the arts more central and meaningful in peoples’ lives. Working in small cities in Canada, Italy, and Croatia, Musagetes creates intersectional collaborations between artists and communities. Authors Mustapić and Meštrović are contemporary artists working predominantly in video and audio installations. They collaborate on large-scale multimedia projects that have been installed at museums and galleries. Their collaborative work captures social issues and expands categories of documentarism into spatial and poetic immersive sensory experiences.
Kombinat was employed to design promotional materials (brochure, poster and a flyer) and to do the promotion of the project Waiting Room for People, Machines, and the City. Since the work itself is and audio/video installation with exceptional materials, we decided to use the stills used in a video that authors made. Since the ceiling of the Waiting room – where you have lift up your head to see the installation- is in a shape of a square, all the materials (posters/brochure and flyers) were also designed and cut in a form of a squares. Photos in the materials are also cut in squares (or a rectangle that is made from 2, well, squares). This is not a usual format of the promotional materials and this format was used in all materials. This approach contributed to the visibility of the exhibition, making it more noticeable. In regards of the posters, Kombinat designed 10 different posters, each representing different locations authors worked on. All the photos have the motif of a watch (reference on waiting). Text in a brochure is placed in a way that a reader has to move it in order to read the text (referring to dynamics of the installation and the different visual stimuli when coming to see the exhibition for the second time). Regarding the promotional activities that made the project visible; Kombinat organized a press conference on the train station and did a range of other activities (taking photos, making gif, contacting the media and targeted groups, communicating about the project on social media etc.) to inform and engage citizens to come to see the exhibition.
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With the Overseas railway. First stop: Rijeka.