“Put your finger on the wound, and press down hard. Delve into the subjects that no one wants to hear about. The other side of the scenery… because art is not detached from the world we live in, it is just an attempt to better understand that world through the route of imagination….” – Michel Houellebecq
Odapark is an ambitious and unconventional center for national and international innovative contemporary art, situated in a 19 hectare woody sanctuary in the middle of urbanized areas in the north of the Limburg province. Odapark is situated on the periphery of the cities of Eindhoven, Nijmegen/Arnhem and Düsseldorf. But instinctively we extend the line to Maastricht, following Oda, the namer of Odapark.
In the heart of the forest park, among old trees and lanes, you will find the Oda Pavilion, were various exhibitions are organized with a focus on contemporary art. Inside the Oda Pavilion is the original Tea House in which exhibitions are organized, but also lectures and concerts, to make room for other expressions of art like literature and music. Next to the Tea House is a Foyer, that serves as the Oda Cafe and as a basis for events organized in Odapark, and a Project Room is situated at a lower level. This room is mostly used for installations, the contemporary visual art form focusing not on one object, but on the relation between various elements and their context, for each project made on the spot by an artist. Finally, the third form of contemporary art in Odapark can be found in the variegated Sculpture Park, in which nature makes room for art in sculptures by international contemporary artists.
In visual arts, Odapark spreads its own and opinionated vision. It could be described as preventing blindness. In any case averse to blind spots. The desire to appreciate and understand in the broad context of reality can be considered the guiding principle. An important connection can therefore be made with profane current events. Not just beauty is sought. The conceptual approach to visual art is paramount, it is an idea behind something that counts in Odapark, and humor can be very important to put things in perspective. Because a light note can hit something heavy at the heart, and nothing should be concealed from sight. Odapark does not do blind faith, it explores and probes, as long and as often it is required to keep no door unopened.
In addition to the regular exhibition program, every other year Odapark organizes a major multidisciplinary art event with a leading and current theme. In most cases these themes are related to the event sites, or they form a connection with the often emotionally charged meaning of those sites, as they have emerged today through function, use and culture in the past. Odapark considers this a way to use contemporary art to imagine the world around us. Within these event programs there is always room for cross-connections with other art forms, and they always comprise cooperation with several cultural organizations in the Euregio. They are held in Odapark Venray or are named Oda Elsewhere.
Odapark spreads the idea that art should be ‘for and of everyone’, and access is therefore free of charge.