Neutral Ground is an Artist run centre located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. A well established art centre in Canada, Neutral Ground promotes the exhibition and production of new art in all media. The artistic goals of Neutral Ground emphasize a leadership role within the community regarding research and representation of contemporary aesthetics and cultural diversity.

Neutral Ground's artistic objectives are designed to facilitate a forum for the presentation and production of artwork that is investigative either formally, conceptually, politically or aesthetically. As well Neutral Ground is engaged in furthering critical debate in the Fine Arts and to advocate for the purpose, role and value of all forms of contemporary art in society. Neutral Ground supports the development of new work responsive to diverse racial and socially determined communities.

Neutral Ground is an independent and self-determined professional art space managed by artists to provide a forum for artists working at the creative edge of the arts; to provide access to resources and equipment and mentors; to collaborate in the transdisciplinary development of ideas and innovative strategies for art making. Neutral Ground's research evolves new artistic expressions and identifies key questions, concepts and issues that can lead to the transformation of culture with input from the fine and liberal arts. We seek to articulate new cultural positions and understandings through the convergence of the arts using intermedia techniques and strategies.

To accomplish these goals, Neutral Ground engages in a strategic and diverse programming schedule which includes organizing and curating programs in the following formats:

  • Gallery installations and exhibitions
  • Performance, performance collaboration, interventions
  • Emergent artist exhibitions
  • Audio and Video art production-creation projects
  • Digital Media and web art w/SOIL
  • Poetry reading and lecture series
  • Alternate Site Projects
  • Experimental film and video screenings
  • Video production and editing; documentation projects & independent projects Production
  • Publishing projects; digital and hard copy
  • Professional development programs in arts administration, new technologies, curation
  • Artistic, Creative residencies
  • Touring
  • International research and exchange

Creating opportunities for Regina and Saskatchewan-based artists for artistic collaboration with senior artists:

  • especially performance art
  • web art
  • video
  • video editing
  • new media
  • documentation

Continue cross cultural collaborations which foster coexistence between cultures and is defined by race, gender and class or social status.

Engage in a continuous program of defining and achieving excellence in the arts through experimentation, innovation, presentation, research and networking, collaboration and through the investigation of issues relevant to the contemporary arts. To achieve objectives through supporting the work of artists as producers by achieving excellence in cultural organization and management.

Further develop initiatives in digital and new media through SOIL in Web art, video editing and production, internships and member-training programs and including presentation or workshops with visiting artists.

Provide opportunities for professional development for artists in artistic practice, as administrative interns and digital media producers through internships, apprenticeships, residencies, workshops, project grants, travel and research projects, publishing projects, as Board and jury members, through exhibition opportunities and employment and in tandem with guest artist presentations.

Stimulate awareness of the arts and opportunities for participation in the arts, increased audience attendance and community support and acceptance of programs; to support programs which increase opportunities for interpretation of contemporary art and ┬│historical┬▓ discourse by qualified artists, curators, and writers; to contribute to a context for contemporary artistic practice in Regina through dialogue and dissemination of artists┬╣ works to other parts of Canada and beyond.

To create a proactive, relevent arena for discussion and debate on social, political and cultural concerns. Goals:

  • Maintaining a stable environment (forum) for artists to conduct research and development in the arts and exhibit work and receive support for difficult or controversial work based on its merit and quality.
  • Provide opportunities for development (professional development) for artists, curators, educators, administrators and writers.
  • Provide a higher profile for artists working in interdisciplinary and experimental media and encouraging innovation in expression including that from artists from other cultural communities.
  • Creating a context for contemporary art in the local and national community (dialogue).
  • Change or enhance the general public's understanding and/or appreciation of contemporary practice through interpretation, education and visibility.
  • Create opportunities for members of the collective to engage with the art world and to provide a forum for responding to current social and aesthetic events which affect art and culture.

Other artist run centre's in Canada include:

Sources: Bull, Hank - Sharla Sava - Scott Watson (eds.): "Robert Filliou: From Political to Poetical Economy", Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery - University of British Columbia, Toronto, 1996 Western Front Society, "FRONT Magazine", Western Front Society, Vancouver

Last Updated 12.08.01

A place, whether figurative or real, in which all who enter are equal in one sense or another. Generally, no outright conflicts take place in neutral ground, though this is not always the case. On a battlefield, the space between two armies that is occupied by officers of each army under the white flag of truce is neutral ground. For immortals in Highlander, holy ground is neutral territory. A courtroom is neutral ground for the people on both sides of the case.

The neutral ground is also used as a term to define the space in between streets in New Orleans where the street cars run. The main neutral ground divided the French Quarter from downtown, which leads on to the Garden District. And it also divides culture. In the Vieux Carre, the French settled, building their house around their garden, so that the courtyard was shielded from the heat of summer and rain in the winter by four walls, or Quarters. Unless you go into someone's house, you'd never know they were there. In the uptown area (which is geographically south instead of north, another way New Orleans is backwards), the British and Americans settled, and thinking themselves better than the dirty French, built their houses in the center of the block, with lush yards and gardens all around, hence the Garden District.

Some areas of the city have neutral grounds with no street cars running on them. They once used to run, and then the neighborhood, depending on how violent it is, switched to buses for mass transit. There is no Streetcar Named Desire anymore, and you wouldn't want to be walking down Desire at any time of day or night, if you value your life. And so, these big grassy areas hold little purpose except as a last ditch effort to get your dog to take a shit in the middle of the night. In some neighborhoods, I'm told, where few people can afford phones, there are pay phones on the neutral ground.

In my area outside of the French Quarter, many a traffic light has been slain by a drunk driver and will often sit there for weeks before it's repaired. Punk kids sit out there and hang out late at night. If I'm walking alone somewhere at night, I walk the neutral ground, so I can see anything that might be out to get me from every angle. There is a sweet irony in feeling safe in the middle of the street where you'd think you'd be the most vulnerable, when in fact it allows for the best escape routes from danger.

Mercuryblues says, "You might want to mention that the word median does not exist in New Orleans at all. The neutral ground is also the area in between the street and the fact it's pretty much used to cover any grassy area in the middle of a paved space."

A television play by Tom Stoppard, concerning spies, and based on the legend of Philoctetes, who was left behind in the Greek expedition against Troy, but subsequently discovered to be essential to their success, so they had to go back and persuade him to join them.

Philo is a high-placed British spy in the Soviet bloc, an ex-national of a country that no longer exists, lonely, homesick, close only to his pet monkey. He decides he has served his paymasters long enough and is owed his freedom.

His bureaucratic expertise is in papers, and he gives himself ones suitable to get out. But somehow he is tumbled, and an assassin kills the man with a monkey: but it was not him. Rejected by the West for fear of being a double agent, he flees to the tiny Balkan country of Montebianca.

Now the Philoctetes resonance. The Western secret service discover they need him after all. They prepare an elaborate scheme to inveigle him into joining them. Meanwhile the other sidee are tracking him down too, out to kill him.

Philo has been hiding in a tiny village, seeing no-one. His loneliness is intense. He decides he can trust someone. Those whom he trusts feel the unfulfillable burden of his trust.

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