The Cultural Institution Ars Cameralis was formed in 1994. Its main activities include the organisation of the annual Upper Silesian Chamber Arts Festival and the promotion of Silesian art and culture in Poland and abroad.
The Ars Cameralis Upper Silesian Chamber Arts Festival for years has been attracting both prominent and often young, talented artists, who should be exposed to a wider audience. Over its 25 editions the Festival has hosted many artists, including The Kronos Quartet, Vaclav Havel, Jaromir Nohavica, Witold Szalonek, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Emma Kirkby, AUKSO Chamber Orchestra from Tychy, Piotr Anderszewski, Philippe Jarousky, Il Giardino Harmonico, Wisława Szymborska, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Jane Birkin, Laurie Anderson, Emir Kusturica, John Cale and Vashti Bunyan. The programme of theatrical performances and art shows over the years included the works of David Lynch, Zofia Rydet, Paweł Althamer, Lech Majewski, Krystian Lupa, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Kishin Shinoyama and Pablo Picasso.
Discovering new ideas, trends and talents has become one of the missions of Ars Cameralis, as help in fulfilling the task of promoting Silesian art and culture abroad. The most spectacular manifestations of this field of activity was the presentation of various achievements of the Silesian Region at the World EXPO, both in Hanover as well as in Zaragoza, as well as during the Silesian Days organised in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bratislava, Vienna, Dresden, Budapest, Gothenburg, Miskolc, Berlin and the Art Week in Beloeil. Our Institution has also organised exhibitions and projects promoting artists originating from Silesia (including exhibitions in Milan, at MoMA Museum of Modern Art in New York or during the Venice Biennale), as well as the presentation of the North Rhine-Westphalia Region in Upper Silesia. The Institution also collaborates with recognised and respected Silesian festivals: Off Festival and Tauron Nowa Muzyka.
Since 2013 Ars Cameralis is actively involved in the organisation of Industriada— A Celebration of Industrial Monuments Route, organising multimedia events in the Katowice-Szopienice Zinc Mill.
Ars Cameralis was also a partner of the TOOL QUIZ project, co-financed by the EU under the INTERREG IVC program, representing Silesia in this interregional project. Our Institution has participated for three years in the identification process highlighting good practices in the field of creative arts economy and cultural industries in seven European regions. Another EU-funded project was dubbed Design Silesia, mainly organised by the Voivodeship Marshal Office. As part of this project Ars Cameralis prepared the Mobile Design Containers — presentations of the best examples of Polish design — as well as the solar powered bench project — Lightbench. We have also issued a number of publications, including the English version of Silesian Design Icons.
The extraordinary cultural potential of Upper Silesia is unearthed further thanks to our Institution’s publishing activities, which has garnered numerous awards across Europe (including German Design Awards, European Design Awards, Śląska Rzecz and the Polish Advertising Creators Club Award). So far our publications include several volumes of poetry, catalogues, music albums and a graphic novel devoted to Wojciech Korfanty.
Thanks to all the aforementioned activities Ars Cameralis receives cooperation offers from numerous esteemed and prestigious institutions, including the Museum of Art and History of Judaism MAHJ in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art Artium Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Atelier Clot, Bramsen & Georges in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts Nancy, Item Editions lithographic studio in Paris, Tonnhalle in Düssseldorf, Polish Institutes in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Paris, Prague and Bratislava, Museum of Fine Arts in Prague. Thanks to this multidimensional cooperation with other institutions and artistic societies, the Institution participates in many events in the region, thus enticing a large group of talented artists and often assuming the role of an agent and promoter of both young and established artists.
→ JADWIGA BACZYŃSKA: representative of the Silesian Voivodeship Assembly
→ ROBERT CIUPA: historian, director of the Silesian Center for Freedom and Solidarity in Katowice / Śląskie Centrum Wolności i Solidarności in Katowice
→ TOMASZ JANIKOWSKI: historian, cultural animator, deputy director of the “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble in Koszęcin / Zespół Pieśni i Tańca „Śląsk” im. Stanisława Hadyny in Koszęcin
→ EWA KAFEL: representative of Katowice, director of the Institute for Promotion and Dissemination of Music “Silesia” in Katowice / Instytut Promocji i Upowszechniania Muzyki „Silesia” in Katowice
→ TOMASZ KONIOR: architect, owner of the Konior Studio
→ Dr. KATARZYNA KWIOTEK: art historian
→ MAREK MOŚ: conductor, artistic director of the AUKSO Orchestra, lecturer at the Academy of Music in Katowice
→ EWA NIEWIADOMSKA: journalist, head of the Culture Department of Radio Katowice
→ prof. MARIAN OSLISLO: artist, graphic designer, lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice
→ prof. DARIUSZ PAWELEC: literary critic, director of The Scientific Information Center and Academic Library (CINiBA) in Katowice
→ KATARZYNA PRYC: manager of culture, head of the Kinoteatr Rialto in Katowice
Ars Cameralis Festival
Ars Cameralis Festival, whose subsequent editions are held annually in November, over more than twenty years of existence, has become the cultural showcase of the region. Through its innovative formula, accessible form of communication and an excellent programme, it is commonly regarded as one of the most important artistic events in Poland.
The Festival’s main idea is to present the most interesting and hottest phenomena in contemporary culture. For almost a whole month in many Silesian cities music, visual arts, theatre and literature reign supreme. Since the first edition the Festival has undergone an enormous evolution: from a small event noticed locally to a festival with a wide reputation, media response and a subject of vivid discussions throughout the country.
The National, Laurie Anderson, Kishin Shinoyama, Kronos Quartet, Jane Birkin, David Lynch, John Zorn, Jake and Dinos Chapman are just a few of the world renowned poersonae who have visited the Festival in recent years. This is the best proof that it is always worth checking back in November in Katowice, Sosnowiec, Mikołów, Chorzów and other Silesian cities to participate in the many unforgettable artistic events.
Discovering new ideas, trends and talents has thus become one of the missions of Ars Cameralis, as help in fulfilling the task of promoting Silesian art and culture abroad.
Between 2002 and 2003, the Institution organised Silesian Culture Days in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. The event included a performance by the Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble Camerata Silesia with the German singer Barbara Schlick. Numerous concerts of classical and jazz music, film screenings, exhibitions of photographs, graphics and performative acts were organized in Düsseldorf, Aachen and Cologne. A year later, in 2004 Ars Cameralis organised North Rhine-Westphalia Culture Days in various Silesian cities.
Our Institution has also been involved in the promotion of the region during Expo 2000 in Hannover (this included concerts by KWK Kleofas Miner Brass Band, Hunter Signalers Band, AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, performances by Cogitatur Theatre, Rhythm Theatre, Gliwice Musical Theatre, „EPT’Y” Theatre, exhibition of works by students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, drawing workshops by Animated Film Studio in Bielsko Biala) and Expo 2008 in Zaragoza (film music concert performed AUKSO Chamber Orchestra conducted by Marek Moś and Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble Camerata Silesia).
The international cultural activity of Ars Cameralis also includes individual exhibitions and projects promoting artists from Silesia. These included Wojciech Prażmowski exhibitions in Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan, Lech Majewski and Sławomir Rumiak shows during the Venice Biennale, and Lech Majewski at MoMA Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Our separate area of activity in terms of international cooperation is the preparation and coordination of residencies – inviting the most interesting artists of the international art scene to Upper Silesia, where they create separate, subjective projects related to the locality, the place and its specificity, and that follow the trail of the region’s history (so far the residents include Carole Benzaken, Catherine Boch and Marta Caradec).
As part of this exchange programme, a Silesian artist Matilda Sałajewska has created spatial installations in Strasbourg.
The Institution also had the honour of hosting Nicolas Topor, Laurie Anderson, David Lynch, Jake Chapman, Christian Bramsen and Jean Michael Alberola, among others. These artists were also invited to meet with and teach the students of Katowice Academy of Fine Arts.
In recent years, Ars Cameralis participated in international European programmes. Since 2004 as a member of the Anna Lindth Foundation, whose statutory purpose is to promote intercultural dialogue made possible through a cultural, intellectual, and social exchange, an economic, political and cultural cooperation between states of the European Union and Mediterranean countries. The result of operating as part of this network was the Euromed Mediterranean Music Festival, held in Katowice between 2008 and 2011. Its aim was to present music created in the countries of the Mediterranean basin.
Between 2010 and 2013 Ars Cameralis was also a partner of the TOOL QUIZ project, co-financed by the EU under the INTERREG IVC programme, representing the Silesian region in this interregional project. Our Institution has participated for three years in the identification process highlighting good practices in the field of creative arts economy and cultural industries in seven European regions.
Another project co-financed by the European Union (from the Human Capital. National Cohesion Strategy fund) was Design Silesia (2010–2013), mainly organised by the Silesian Voivodeship Marshal Office. Under the objectives of the program Ars Cameralis prepared the Mobile Design Container, a mobile public presentation of the best examples of Polish design, which toured Silesian cities. The Lightbench project as well as other creative projects were also part of the programme.
Ars Cameralis runs year-round event programming activities culminating in annual Ars Cameralis Festival every November. This would not be possible without the long-term and proven cooperation with local institutions, each with a broad range of activities. These institutions lend host our events, provide technical and organisational assistance and participate financially. As a result, based on years of cultivating good partnerships, it has been possible to present the proposed artistic events not only in Katowice, but in many Silesian cities — during the Festival and beyond.
It is noteworthy that the list of local institutions with which Ars Cameralis cooperates in presenting the program is growing with each year.