Tou scene, Stavanger
The name Tou derives from the old norwegian word taufr meaning a place where magic is practiced :-)
Tou Scene is a center for contemporary art comprising music, visual art, film, dramatic art, architecture, new media, hybrid forms and non traditional art (preamble). Exhibitions and performances take place and local artists and creative businesses are tenants. From being threatened by demolition the old brewery has become an essential part of the programme of The European Capital of Culture Stavanger2008.
Tou Bryggeri (Brewery) was established in Tau on the other side of the fjord in 1855, as a part of Interessentskapet Tou, together with a mill, soft drink factory and canning factory. In 1909 they bought Stavanger Aktiebryggeri and in 1918 the breweries moved to Lervig, Stavanger. In 1974 it was relocated to Forus, was bought by the competitor Ringnes in 1989 and closed down in 2003. A local brewery was immediately established, and even though it is situated in another part of the town, it bears the name Lervig Aktiebryggeri :-)
Large parts of the total building area of 13 000 square meters in Lervig had been empty since the brewery moved out and were in disrepair with broken windows and leaking roofs, when a group of enthusiastic artists took an initiative to creating an alternative cultural house. At the same time the project Urban Sjøfront was established to build a new accomodation and commercial area along the Gandsfjord shore. A cooperation between the enthusiasts and the area developers, with economical support from the municipality and the state has resulted in the realization of Tou Scene.
The oldest buildings were built in 1899, new buildings were added over the years, which makes the complex a mixture of architectural styles. Rehabilitation is transparent in the sense that old infrastructure and the architectural mix is not hidden but visible to the public.
Tou Scene is a a non-profit corporation owned by artists and supporters and is supported by the Municipality of Stavanger.
Tou is located in the old Tou Brewery, that dates back to 1855 and was used as such until 1980.
Tou Scene presents all year long programs to the public in a variety of art forms. The company was founded by 25 artists and 5 entrepreneurs. On the sides of the walls are oversized paintings, I guess done by the artist's from here.