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GULING STREET Avant-Garde Theatre Operations Management
Vacant or Unoccupied space
自1998年迄今台北市政府將該空間OT委任「台北市小劇場聯盟」(1998年10月～2001年10月) 、「如果兒童劇團」(2001年12月～2004年12月) 、「身體氣象館」(2005年7月～2014年6月~)三個團體營運管理該劇場，在「台北市小劇場聯盟」及「如果兒童劇團」兩團隊近六年營運管理，似乎仍深陷建築體修繕維護、財務經費短絀、劇場營運管理摸索階段及劇場美學邊緣化之困境，至身體氣象館營運管理時期公部門更對該場域採取「自負盈虧」政策，更令藝文團隊財務捉襟見絀。
The original building of the Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre is a wooden, Japanese-style dormitory constructed in 1906. As the Taiwan Provincial Governor's Office took over Taiwan in 1945, the building became the office of the Taipei City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Unit. Two enforced-brick floors were added in 1954, and the building officially served as the office of the Police Department’s Seventh Branch. From 1959 to 1969, another floor was added to the rear building at the east side. In 1967, the Seventh Branch was renamed as Guting Branch, and renamed again in 1990 as Zhongzheng Second Precinct. However, the room was inadequate for office use by the time, and the Department had to find new space. In 1995, the Department’s new building was constructed at the intersection of Nanhai Road and Chongqing South Road, and the precinct moved to the new office. Guling Street gradually developed to a cluster of bookstalls in 1950s and 1960s, until Taipei City Government tore down most bookstalls in 1972 in the name of facilitating transportation and amenity. The remained bookstalls are so few now that one would find it difficult to imagine the street’s golden age. Standing at the street’s corner, the Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre’s two facades were in the style of Art Deco, and the detention room in the building is preserved as it was, keeping the architectural characteristics of police branch. Taipei City Government officials investigated the site with representatives from art communities in 1996, after the police branch moved out. It was then decided that the building should be planned for theater’s use. Related agencies were summoned to coordinate and alter the title deed registration to meet the regulations of the Building Act. In 1997, with the suggestions of scholars and experts, the building was listed as Taipei City’s commemorative building. The Zhongzheng Second Precinct Theater started to operate in October 1998, and became the city’s first case of releasing idle public space for cultural use. In accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs announced the building as historical architecture on April 8, 2014. From 1998, Taipei City Government followed the Operate-Transfer (OT) model and commissioned Taipei City Little Theater Union (October 1998 to October 2001), IFKids Theatre (December 2001 to December 2004) and Body Phase Studio (July 2005 to June 2014) to operate the theater. However, the first two groups seemed to be trapped in the predicaments of building maintenance, financial problems, poor management and the marginalization of theater in their nearly six-year operation. The public sector launched the self-financing strategy during the third group’s operation, bringing the group’s finance in rags. This thesis will go through the three groups’ operating process to investigate the conflicts and differences between the public sector’s discourses on cultural space management and artists’ participation in the performing space operation. It is hoped that by looking into this case, the homogenized OT policies for public space which the public sector relies for long and the art groups’ deficiency on operating cultural venues can be reviewed, and a new way of thinking and coordinating relations for cultural management between the public and private sectors can be formed.
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