A4 is a cultural center that was established in 2004 in Bratislava. Originally it was an association composed of 4 independent civic initiatives that came from different backgrounds. It was contemporary theatre, dance, music and cinema and also new media art. And these four civic initiatives formed an association called A4.
In 2003 we sort of felt a need for space for our activities. And we decided to apply for different spaces that were available in Bratislava at that time. We tried to somehow convince local government, the city officials, or the Ministry of Culture. And somehow we were successful at the end, and we could start our independent cultural art center in the state building in the city center. At that time it was really difficult to really cooperate with the state. The idea was the whole building, that was called The House of Art, would be transformed into something like a contemporary visual art gallery. The ground floor could be used for performing arts and cinema. So we were kind of providing content for this idea. Nevertheless it never happened. So the whole building is still run by the state and organization that is focusing on traditional arts and folklore.
So nowadays we had to move after several protests. In 2012 we moved into new space that we have rented out for 5 years. So we have a contract and we hope to continue with our activities. A4 is still focusing on all contemporary art genres. We try to support and to present innovative art forms in contemporary theatre, music, especially experimental music, improvised, and electronic music, and sound art, and we also have film screenings, and new media art shows, performances, and workshops, as well as dance performances, and educational programmes.
I think at that time it was the only center that was multidisciplinary in Bratislava. We tried to provide sort of alternative to the city institutions or to state institutions that were not really focusing on innovative and contemporary art forms. So I would not say that it is an alternative cultural center, because we are just focusing on contemporary art and on creativity also in combination with technology, but of course the way it operates is very different from the official institutions.
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