European Cultural Month 1998
More than thirty projects, developed and realized by over 2000 artists: with contemporary art and culture work, the European Cultural Month from 28 August to 4 October 1998 drew over 400,000 visitors to unusual venues in Linz.
European Cultural Month
During the European Cultural Month, a city can present itself within a concentrated period of time with its own special cultural self-understanding. The title "European Cultural Month" was initiated in 1992 and is awarded by the European Council of Ministers of Culture. In 1998, two cities were chosen to host the European Cultural Month: Valetta, the capital of Malta, and Linz.
A City's Transformation Process
During the European Cultural Month, Linz focused on the rapid transformation of work, information technology, science and society. Under the heading "job.net.gen.fun", Linz became the stage for (local) contemporary art and culture work from 28 August to 4 October – at the same time, this was a live demonstration of the urban transformation process of Linz from an industrial city to a modern city of culture. In addition, existing international cooperations were used particularly for the European Cultural Month, with new artistic networks being established at an international level.
Conquering New Art and Performance Venues
The closed leather factory, the area in front of the "Open House of Culture" OK, the Generali building, the harbour and Danube area became backdrops for a multifaceted cultural event during the European Cultural Month. Over 15,000 visitors admired the "Danube Rain", the staging of a gigantic waterfall from Nibelungen Bridge. "Clickscape", a project by the cultural association and venue Stadtwerkstatt, made it possible to arrange urban space by mouse click. In "Cistern. Linz Underworld", Ursula Witzany opened up the water reservoir to visitors, which was constructed under the Pfarrplatz square in 1944. In "Naturally Artificial", eleven artists made an artificial garden grow in front of the OK. Mikis Theodorakis conducted a concert in the flame-scarfing hall of the Voest. In addition, more than fifty works by Hermann Nitsch were exhibited in a hangar at the Linz airport.
A Future-Oriented Event
The European Cultural Month, which took place during the Austrian Presidency of the European Council, provided the occasion for holding an informal meeting of the EU ministers of culture at the Design Center from 10 to 12 September. Linz also invited the ministers of culture from Central and Eastern European countries to this meeting. The conference participants were guests of honour at the Visualized Cloud of Sound 'jobOpera' on 11 September. During the European Cultural Month, the course was also set for Linz's bid for European Capital of Culture. September 1998 marked the start of the discussion process on the future orientation of the city's cultural policies, which finally led to the formulation of the Cultural Development Plan and its guidelines in 2000.