An Event like No Other
The FCC is pleased to announce it will be opening up the historical Phnom Penh Mansion as one of the primary venues for the upcoming OurCityFestival (OCF) later this month. The bi-annual festival, which will be taking place in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang, runs from January 14th through January 27th.
During the festival’s 10 days, OCF will bring together diverse artists and creators throughout Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Siem Reap. The festival, open to the public and free for all, is a platform for hundreds of performances, activities, and exhibitions between the three cities.
Setting the Stage at the Mansion
While the venues in each city are many, the home base for OCF Phnom Penh will be at the FCC Mansion, located just behind the FCC Phnom Penh Hotel at #3 Sothearos Boulevard. With unique architecture, a great location, and an open-air front garden, the Mansion is the perfect space to host OCF’s bands, film screenings, dance performance, and more.
The Mansion was built between 1910 and 1920 by a Cambodian trader. It has served many functions since, including private residence, military possession, government property, and now, under FCC ownership, music and arts venue. Miraculously, the Mansion has held up for the 100 years and is in remarkable shape. Those who step inside are bound to ask the question: what has gone on in these walls and what is to come?
The FCC will feature some of its best dining at the Mansion each day of the festival. Mornings will feature a Coffee Break menu, and each night, the Mansion will feature a cash bar with drinks and kebabs. The entire festival is free admissions and daytime activities are for all ages.
Interviewing Dana Langlois, OCF Director
OCF founder and director Dana Langlois sat down with FCC to talk about the festival and her inspiration for using the Mansion.
FCC: What is your history with the Mansion and your inspiration for having the Mansion being a central venue during the 2014 OCF?
Dana: In 2011, I worked with one artist and did a video installation at the Mansion for that year’s OurCityFestival, but we didn’t implement a full exhibition and performance program like this year. It’s a very interesting space, and I look forward to seeing the contrast of history with contemporary art. The building itself is an icon but it’s somewhat of an enigma–there’s little information on the building and it’s interesting wondering what and who the building was originally used for. With the unique architecture meeting all of the art, it’s a great space to get people to come and have a new, different experience with art and architecture.
FCC: How do you see the space being used by the OCF artists?
Dana: In the case of the works and the exhibitions at the Mansion, close to half are responding to the space itself. In the case of the opening night (January 17th), there are two performances, including a dance by Pandaemonium Dance, which will be about movement within the space itself. It will be movement that’s in harmony and contrast with the space.
We will also have an installation by Som Vannitathat is related to the cultural heritage of the building. The types of art that will be installed and shown and performed at the Mansion are more indicative about what the festival’s about. It’s about how the arts and the project reflect the city, the communities, the individuals, the art, and the heritage. We’re presenting art in projects that is relevant to the space in the city. In that way the space is very important to the works themselves and how they are experiences for the audience.
FCC: How accessible will the Mansion be during each of the days of the festival, and how do you see the space being used?
Dana: Thanks to the FCC we’ll have the space open all 10 days of the festival from 10AM to 10PM. In addition to the art exhibitions, we have activities every single night. We’ll turn the Mansion into a festival lounge between 6 and 10 every night, with a bar and activities. Featured evening activities include live music, and an outdoor cinema by the Bophana Audio-Visual Resource Center. It will be the outdoor cinema. It’s meant to be a dynamic space that’s exciting and for the public to go to and experience art, film, music, and performances.