Over the last two years Gasworks has been involved in RE-tooling RESIDENCIES, a programme devoted to developing cooperation between art institutions in Eastern and Western Europe. The project is coming to a close in Autumn 2011 with the launch of a publication and a new website. RE-tooling RESIDENCIES was a collaboration between CCA Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw, Poland), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany), FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art (Prague, Czech Republic), Gasworks (London, UK) and Botkyrka konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden). This learning process involved these five residency organisations embarking on discussions with curators, artists and organisers about the theoretical and practical aspects of residencies. The project began in November 2009 with an international conference on artistic residencies to accompany the first East European Res Artis Meeting and was followed by an exchange programme for art professionals and institutions new to the field of residencies.
Individual artistic development and experimentation used to be the basic goals of residency programmes. Now, with the residency idea often being incorporated into the core of artistic production, contributing to changes in artistic geography, it is time to consider the most relevant methods for supporting knowledge development and the often-hidden processes related to the work of curators, organisers and artists. This book is a call to develop a methodology for the effective analysis of the creative and social processes related to such mobility in a global perspective. If residencies are based on an idea of re-location, what kinds of consequences do they have in terms of mapping national, transnational or global flows of labour, conflict and co-operation? Can the experience of the art scene in Eastern Europe be used as a basis for creating unique ways of organising artistic work and which possible strategies could provide a critical framework for the institution of artistic residencies?
The intense development and spread of residency programmes reflects the changing position of art and artists, encouraging face-to-face collaboration and networking, which provides opportunities for artistic and social practices to intertwine. However, the idea of the residency has rarely been subjected to rigorous critical enquiry. This book and the related website aim to stimulate much-needed analytical and practical investigation in the field. This specifically applies to the countries of Eastern Europe, where the institution of residency, as such, is relatively fresh and in search of legitimisation. This publication suggests several critical ways for approaching issues concerning residencies and the mobility of art professionals. At the same time, the website invites its users to submit comments, feedback, tools and resources, offering a platform for sharing theoretical and practical knowledge around the idea of residencies. In tandem with the publication, it provides space for qualitative reflection on the ways in which networking, exchange, learning and artistic practice could be evaluated in the context of mobility of art professionals.
First presentations of the reader will take place on:
23 August, 6pm at Karlin Studios, Prague,
9 December, 6pm at CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw.
A-I-R Laboratory at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
Jazdów 2, 00-467 Warsaw, Poland