Roüzça Zamoéojko at Wildlife 

Micro Art Initiatives #17: Wildlife

Issue no4
aug - sept 2018
Exchange - Fotografie - Eindexamens 2018

On a sunny afternoon Lotte van Geijn sits down with Semâ Bekirovic and Justina Nekrašaitė to hear them out about Wildlife, a platform for low key, unpredictable evenings with room for experiment. TONIGHT NEW EDITION!

—Lotte van Geijn You started to organise Wildlife evenings together since March this year. Could you introduce yourself shortly before we dive deeper into it?

Bernhard Hollinger and Fraulein Hahnkamper at Wildlife

—Justina Nekrašaitė Five years ago I came to the Netherlands because I wanted to do my masters. I’m from Lithuania where I studied Photography and Media Arts. I have embraced that nothing in my life ever works out the way I planned it. I choose to follow my guts feelings; this is not always the easy way. I decided not to attend a master, because it didn’t feel like it was the right time. For now I have left my artist practice behind. I’m more committed to curating, although I don’t feel comfortable with the connotation that comes along with the term curator. I introduce myself as a cultural engineer, because culture is my area of interest and I construct by putting different elements together.

—Semâ Bekirovic I am a visual artist, but next to my own practise I have always kept myself busy with organising things, from curating shows to a living room restaurant (in collaboration with people from the We Are Here Group). This month I have been programming bands at De Nieuwe Anita. These activities add a certain lightness to my life. For me, organizing events is a way of operating outside of the art world power structures.

stand-up comedian Izabella Finch at Wildlife

—Lotte van Geijn How did you two meet and start Wildlife?

—Semâ Bekirovic I started working at Goleb, an artist led space in a old school building in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. It is an amazing project space available for all kinds of events. Justina used to organize events in her house. We did not know each other well but we had mutual friends, so I asked her if she wanted to do something at Goleb. Working together worked out very well, Justina is very organised and I own a car! (laughs) Initially, we wanted to organize only three editions of Wildlife, but soon we had booked more acts than we had time for, so we did a fourth edition. After a summer break we will continue Wildlife.

Saxophonist and composer Marc Alberto at Wildlife

—Lotte van Geijn Do you have a preconceived concept for the evenings?

—Justina Nekrašaitė Everybody can send in a proposal, nothing is too crazy! But we do try to create a versatile evening with performance and art, but also with music and sound.

—Semâ Bekirovic We are open to anything but we do not want to become yet another platform for bands or singer-songwriters. Acts should have a performative or experimental element.

—Justina Nekrašaitė We try to create a relaxed ambience. The door opens at eight but the acts starts around nine. When people enter DJ EI (Marcus Bruystens) is already playing nice funky records. The bar is open and the drinks are served. And we have decorated the space with some coloured lights. Just to make sure people think; oh this is not scary! (laughs) Then someone hits the gong.

—Semâ Bekirovic We do not introduce the acts, after the sudden noise of the gong everybody is sure to be awake and the performance starts. Between performances there is music and enough time for a chat and a drink, so that is the café part.

cafe at Wildlife

—Lotte van Geijn How did you come up with the name?

—Semâ Bekirovic I am not sure how it came up. We were just sending each other suggestions and Wildlife stuck. I like the connotation with an animal world that has not been tampered with. We can do with some counter-domestication every once in a while. Next to creating a nice experience for the audience, we are mainly interested in offering artists a platform to enjoy and explore.

—Justina Nekrašaitė Yes, it is a relationship of mutual trust and respect between us and the performers. This is probably why people really do feel free to use the time and space to experiment.

—Semâ Bekirovic So far we haven’t been able to pay anyone, the bar barely covers expenses. We might ask for funding in the future but we definitely want Wildlife to remain a low key affair. The main goal is to provide artists and audience a place for trying things out with an unpredictable outcome.

Chun-han Chiang at Wildlife

Raluca Tudorache at Wildlife

audience at Wildlife

Photo credit: Justina Nekrašaitė 2018

Wildlife #4, Goleb, Amsterdam, 23.06.2018

For more info on the open calls and events check: https://cafewildlife.tumblr.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/wildlifehappenings/

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Magazine
Metropolis M Magazine for contemporary art No 4 — 2018