The topic of the 7th year of the festival was slowdown, stopping.
To stop self is art.
Traditional festival prize of this edition went to
Collectif Primavez (FR)
Lucie Vacovská (CZ)
Petra Procházková (CZ)
Viera Dubačová (SK)
Special award Ugo Sanchez Jr. & Lorenzo Galli (IT)
‘To Slow Down and Stop’ was the theme of a shorter than usual (three day long “only”) seventh edition of the annual AMPLIFIER Festival. As life and the world were irreversibly speeding up again after the pandemic, we felt the need to slow down and stop in the rushed and tense everyday life. Not only to stop ourselves, but also to change the ecological indifference in the devastation of our environment and the bitterness in people that’s dividing the society. We therefore invited the AMPLIEFIER audience to stop for 3 days in the unique town of Banská Štiavnica, where they could slow down, calm down and also rethink their relationship to art, to nature, to the uncritical acceptance of (dis)information thanks to a carefully selected and original program built up to be a bit calmer this year. The festival events took place in the historical center as well as in the surrounding districts and villages on the outskirts of the city as usual.
70 artists from 8 different countries gave their stunning performances in 30 successfully realized individual shows (there was only one cancelation due to illness), including 5 Slovak premieres). For example, Ugo Sanchez Jr., an Italian cabaret master, presented his entertaining street show RIO BOOM BOOM and the somewhat controversial cabaret UGO WANTS TO PLAY. The audience also slowed down playfully thanks to a sensitive performance by Miguel Rubio of Collectif Primavez PLAYGROUND and got their energy perfectly recharged by two fabulous bands from Prague: the recessive-poetic band FILTR and the awesome techno-band TOOT ENSEMBLE which raised the bar for the Amplifier's bands even higher! The streets of Banská Štiavnica were filled with a unique atmosphere by a great Italian busker and musician Lorenzo Galli (IT) with his show POOM-CHA, which became the most popular among the locals. Slovak headliner CreDance company & Maca and Kapela roka brought a great experience with the uplifting dance and movement production Lepetit LITTLE PRINCE, which makes the world a more beautiful place.
In addition, we once again brought contemporary art to the residents of the surrounding districts and municipalities as part of the AMPLIFIER Caravan artists' journey. Behind the yellow Fiat 600, we brought 8 different programs from artists from all over the world to 6 places on the periphery. AMPLIÓN brought the festival's idea of stopping and slowing down to Drieňová neighborhood, to KTC Hájovňa Red Weel, to a primary school and a kindergarten in Štiavnické Bane and to more audiences in the Počúvadlo Lake, Beluj and Banská Belá.
The novelty of the 7th year was a visual object by Naďa Salbotová ART STOP! and a special street happening of clowns from Brno's JAMU under the title GLORY OF SLOWNESS.
The ART PUTIKA cycle – informal pub dips in popular Štiavnica's pubs with reputable guests – was also continued. This year we (together with a popular interviewer Karol Sudor) welcomed a prominent Czech reporter Petra Procházková, Slovak activist Viera Dubačová, and Bratislava-based ecumenical preacher Daniel Pastirčák, who opened a discussion about current social topics through informal talks with local regulars about the possibilities of stopping the war in Ukraine, as well as the topic about the importance of slowing down for art.
The fourth year of the Czech-Slovak competition, whose goal is to support the creation of the new cabarets, SKETCH UP was accompanied by the great band Filtr (CZ) and moderated by Pavol Seriš (SK). The level of the contestants was high and we are already looking forward for the premiere of the new cabaret of the winner, Lucie Vacovská, who was awarded the AMPLION ARGENTUM Festival Prize by the jury Lumír Mati, Martina Garassyová and Zuzana Liptáková.
The award AMPLION ARGENTUM in the category New cabaret was given to brilliant recessive theatre band Filtr (CZ) and their living room pop and garage rock. In the Street Art category was awarded Miguel Rubio (FR) for his piece Playground, which explores the physical dependence of an artist, on an 8-metre high Chinese pole, on the participation of the audience. The award for Socially Engaged Work was exceptionally given to two people – Czech renowned reporter and humanitarian worker Petra Procházková and Slovak activist and director Viera Dubačová, both of them are courageously helping and reporting the current events from the war in Ukraine.
Significant part of the festival were also two exhibitions. First, ANTIHYBRID brought an international exhibition of world cartoonists to slow down and stop before lies and conspiracies. Its opening was held in the presence of a representative of the Dutch Embassy. Second, ČASOMYSLE, was a performative exhibition of extraordinary portraits and installations in a dimension where there is no time. Its author, Naďa Salbotová together with an informal group of reciters, D´fastfood dženerejšn, created an interdisciplinary performance of modern art at the Old Castle, NO STOP, NO FUN, which was also a very powerful experience.
Even though the pre-sale tickets were low, the spectators arrived at the last minute and did not miss anything. More than 1 000 people visited AMPLIFIER Festival during those three cold but sunny days, it is still ⅓ less than before the Covid pandemic. The 7th year, however, confirmed that the desire to slow down and stop for art is up to date and it brings many benefits. Thank you, our audience for stopping by AMPLIFIER – because TO STOP IS AN ART!