'Working on the margins' at bkkc, Tilburg

'Working on the margins' at bkkc, Tilburg

In Brabant and elsewhere, artist-in-residence organizations often move in and outside of institutional frameworks in order to facilitate space for the arts on their own terms. What is the urgency to do so and what are the opportunities that unfold from taking this position, in collaboration with institutions and local municipalities?

These and other questions will be addressed from a local and international perspective on March 29 at bkkc in Tilburg during a program of presentations, panel discussions and work sessions concerning the practice of small, context based artist-in-residence programs.

The conference marks the next step in an ongoing critical investigation by AiR Platform NL to evaluate together with AiR organizers and different partners pressing questions concerning the ideas and practice of artist-in-residence programs, bringing their position in the arts and in society to the fore.

Working on the margins – artist-in-residence programs today
Exhibition: January 18 - April 1, 2018
Conference: March 29, 2018
Location: bkkc, Spoorlaan 21, Tilburg
Language: Dutch / English
Admission: 15 Euro (lunch and drinks included)
Make your reservation: here

Program introduction

Working on the margins - artist-in-residence programs today

Cracks in the state of things, in the state of norms..  Cracks leading us despite ourselves to new social practices and to new aesthetic practices which will reveal themselves as less and less separate from each other and more and more complicity.. (Felix Guattari, Cracks in the Street, Flash Art. 135 1987 p.85)

Often artist-run, these artist-in-residence programs provide open, relational, social spaces embedded in the locality of a village or city. They connect artists and create communities of practitioners: to test ideas, take creative risks and explore new directions in their artistic practice. Many of these initiatives operate internationally and function as local platforms for the production and presentation of new work. They develop their own lines of discourse, knowledge and understanding and often engage in an experimental manner related to their location, where local history, identity and other relevant topics are subject of investigation. Experiments that also transpires in the development of structures for production and presentation of art according to one’s own terms and ideas. A condition that altogether provokes new models that, in turn, open up the existing hierarchical structures of the art world.

By addressing the notion of the margins as a lens, we will explore the practice of different artist-in-residence programs: from the seclusion of a monastery in Vught to the dynamics of an artist-run space in Algiers. Together with artists, organizers, institutions and municipalities we will investigate the margins as a critical space we need to continuously retrieve and advance. How can this be addressed from the practice of artist-in-residence programs today, and how can this ultimately lead to new aesthetic and social practices in the arts and society?

Working on the margins consists of different stages. On January 18 opened an exhibition at bkkc about artist-in-residence programs in Brabant, curated by Ron Dirven, director of Van Gogh huis in Zundert. In collaboration with AiR Platform NL, Mariska van den Berg, art historian and chairperson of Platform BK will write an essay regarding the questions mentioned above as contribution to the program and conference on March 29.

Working on the margins is a program by bkkc in collaboration with Ron Dirven, director Van Gogh huis and Heidi Vogels, coordinator AiR Platform NL, DutchCulture. The program is developed after the current situation of artist-in-residence programs in Brabant and is a follow-up of the encounter - AiR for Experiment, a symposium about the impact of small, context-based artist-in-residence programs in different regions in Europe, which took place in Delft in 2016.

Preliminary program

09.30 hr: doors open

10.00 – 10.05 hr: Welcome Atty Bax, bkkc, Heidi Vogels, DutchCulture|TransArtists
10.05 – 10.10 hr: Welcome by moderator Rune Peitersen, artist and co-founder of PlatformBK
10.10 – 10.40 hr: Presentation by Yasmina Reggad, curator Aria program, Algeria
10.40 – 11.00 hr: Presentation essay Mariska van den Berg, Platform BK
11.00 – 11.15 hr: Short break
11.15 – 12.30 hr: Panel discussion with Mayke Jongsma, Mondriaan Fonds, Ulco Mes, Tilburg municipality, Bas van den Hurk, Leo XIII, Marjolein van de Ven, Kunstvlaai

12.30 – 13.30 hr: Lunch

13.30 – 14.00 hr: Case study I Gijs Assman former resident at AiR Zin, Vught
14.00 – 14.30 hr: Case study II Evi Swinnen founder of Timelab, Gent
14.30 – 14.45 hr: Coffee & tea

14.45 – 15.45 hr: Work sessions
I Thinking ahead: How can AiR organizations anticipate strategies working on the margins, resonating in the arts and in society? With Mariska van den Berg, Platform BK and Vivian Fontijn, Baltan Labaratories
II Quest for Failure: The notion of success altered, with Marjolein van de Ven, Kunstvlaai and Ranti Tjan, Sundaymorning / Ekwc
III Between us: The margins as space of dialogue and collaboration, with Gemma Medina, Artistic Strategies in Phychiatry - Van Abbemuseum and Ron Dirven, VanGogh artist-in-residence, Zundert
IV Shared contexts: The urgency to create shared contexts between peers and achieve change in the arts and society, with Koen Dijkman, De Fabriek / AiR Brabant and Heidi Vogels, AiR Platform NL

15.50 – 16.30 hr: Evaluation of the work sessions
16.30 – 16.45 hr: Reporter of the day, Robin Berkelmans, Mest magazine
16.45 – 17.00 hr: Closing of the day

17.00 – 18.00 hr: Drinks

Report: Esther van Rosmalen, Witte Rook
Documentation: Imara Angulo Vidal


Yasmina Reggad
As independent curator, writer, researcher Yasmina Reggad works in London, Athens and Algiers. She was previously guest curator of Art Dubai international commissions 2016 and 2017, AiR Dubai 2016 residency program, Exhibition and Projects manager at Delfina Foundation and presently is program curator at aria (artist residency in algiers) in Algeria. Her research focuses on the politics of futurity and explores performative methodologies inspired by dance and performance.

Mariska van den Berg
Based in Amsterdam, Mariska van den Berg is a researcher and writer and chairman of Platform BK (Visual Arts). Her latest book Stedelingen veranderen de stad (Citizens change the city, 2014) concerns collectives, public domain and transition. Recurrent subjects in her practice are the nature and position of contemporary art practices and their resonance in the public domain. 

Gijs Assmann
Artist Gijs Assmann works in painting and sculpture, often in public space. His work is narrative driven and characterized by figurative images in melancholy yet colourful settings. Presently he is mentor at the Masters Contextual Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, and tutor Craft and Material at the department of Fine Arts at ArtEZ in Arnhem. Recently he participated as artist-in-resident at AiR Zin in Vught and Sundaymorning /Ekwc in Oisterwijk. 

Evi Swinnen
As founder of Timelab, Evi Swinnen has used critical thinking and activism to renegotiate artistic practices. Timelab is an art organization in Gent, Belgium, modelled in the image of the rising international makers movement. Evi considers the art institution a model; an infrastructure for new encounters and self-reflection. She is also the instigator of NEST, a project in Gent that creates a temporary cultural program for the old city library, and RSL op Post in the city of Roeselare, a permanent based experiment in defining and using public buildings in collaboration with local authorities.

For more information about the program, contact Heidi Vogels at h.vogels@dutchculture.nl

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