Salon Souterrain was create by the artist Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe as a response to the increasing exclusionary dynamics that have become the hallmark of our societies in Europe. In its mise en place, the series of Salon Souterrain therefore demonstrates the desire to create common spaces for mutal exchange and artistic production. The aim is to open up possibilities of debate, to offer thematic and nomadic encounters in order to discuss social issues within an artistic format.
The mobilisation of artistic practices is crucial in order to generate imagination, to awaken imaginary skills without which we indefinitely reproduce the same gestures, the same forms of organisation, the same ways of doing and thinking.
More than ever, this question of the imaginary has become a key issue. This is because today we urgently need to invent new places, real and virtual, physical or digital zones, ephemeral, temporary, transitory – however we wish to name them.
Through debates, performances, concerts or exhibitions that take place during the Salons Souterrains, we wish to create social links, but beyond that, to question the notion of territoriality, which seems to be at the centre of contemporary debates: Is it possible to symbolically open up borders through artistic fiction? Aren’t there also symbolic borders within the same country? Wouldn’t it be necessary to decentralise art and culture, to be able to take them beyond institutional frameworks?
Salon Souterrain transfers the bourgeois concept of the salon into the reality of the 21st century and anchors it in the city of Vienna. This year, a series of four salons will revolve around the theme of “transformation”. Each salon takes place in a different location in cooperation with a partner institution.