JAM FACTORY: A NEW ART CENTER FOR UKRAINE OPENS IN THE MIDST OF WAR
On 18 November, JAM FACTORY ART CENTER in Lviv will officially open its doors to the public. Housed in a former industrial building first used as distillery and later as a fruit bottling plant, JAM FACTORY will stage exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, as well as host new productions in performative arts and music in a specially designed space.
The idea of establishing a new cultural centre in Lviv took root in 2015, when philanthropist and historian Dr. Harald Binder decided to support the development of JAM FACTORY as a center for contemporary art. The initiative also saw an opportunity to regenerate Lviv’s industrial building and its neighborhood into a vibrant public space. After extensive research and preparation, significant funding was provided to go ahead.
JAM FACTORY is located in the district of Pidzamche, north of central Lviv, once a thriving industrial area. From 2008 the building was used on an ad hoc basis for cultural initiatives such as the Contemporary Art Week, a theatre festival, and other artistic and community engaged activities.
Following the purchase of the buildings in 2015, the Austrian architectural firm of Stefan Rindler was selected to restore and re-model the former building in collaboration with the Ukrainian office AVR. To create a multidisciplinary art centre as a space for critical reflection through culture was the concept from the beginning. Institutions of this kind which would also serve as a point of connection between Ukraine and the wider world are still rare in the country. The structural composition of the complex consisting of six separate buildings reflects these ambitions. Grouped around an open courtyard and an extended alley, JAM FACTORY is built as a continuous, flexible space, able to accommodate performance, installation, and discussions. On the larger territory the site of a former synagogue has been marked out, a reminder, rather than an erasure, of Ukraine’s turbulent past.
THE OPENING PROGRAMME
JAM FACTORY was originally due to open in 2022, but will now open in November 2023. After a number of smaller projects and events in previous years the Jam Factory will show a major exhibition accompanied by a public program entitled “OUR YEARS, OUR WORDS, OUR LOSSES, OUR SEARCHES, OUR US” curated by Kateryna Iakovlenko, Natalia Matsenko, and Borys Filonenko. The exhibition will feature works by Ukrainian artists from 2022-2023 and from a longer chronological perspective: from the 19th century to the present day. The exhibition is constructed on the principle of novellas and brings together works on two distances – between the present and the past, and between personal experiences and wartime experiences.
“We are building routes and gathering for several months to talk about the personal and the collective, memory and history, hoping that the stories will no longer be interrupted.” – the Curatorial team.
Future exhibitions will include international artists, but the opening exhibition will be a unique opportunity for Ukrainian artists to exhibit their work in Lviv at a time of war.
In the theatre space, a new production will be staged, providing an opportunity for Ukraine’s playwrights, actors and stage designers to reflect on creating theatre at a time of war
JAM FACTORY’S vision for the music program is to become a showcase of artistic expressions. By cultivating new works and cross-genre collaborations, it aims to contribute to the local and national music education, and to fuel research of the Ukrainian music scene.
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