An online symposium about affecting change through artist-in-residencies

An online symposium about affecting change through artist-in-residencies

AiR Platform NL together with Hotel Mariakapel and Kunsthuis Syb, organized in December 2020 and January 2021 a three-day online symposium to explore common challenges aiming to strengthen the Dutch - and international - residency network and art community.

Residencies are strongly rooted in their local environments, where artists often directly engage with people and social issues from the locality of the residency. Following the social and political unrest and the drastically changed ways of life that face us all, as (small) institutions we are now considering ways to positively impact and shape our local contexts and roles in society. How do we work towards reconfiguring our positions and practice – in the midst of the corona crisis and global protests against inequality?

The outcome of this program of lectures, workshops and panel discussions, will be presented as a hands-on publication, online and print-ready.

Additionally you will find a reader attached below with inspiration and/or food for thought, both written and in podcasts, many by participants in the programme.

Contact for more information: [email protected]


Tuesday December 8
Start of the program
15.00 – 17.00 AiR network meeting with framed discussion Residing Reciprocally by Clare Butcher with Thato Mogotsi, including Q&A
Curator and art educator Clare Butcher will discuss with Thato Mogotsi questions of context-responsiveness, knowledge production and refusal in relation to the shifting role of residencies in contemporary art ecologies of the global pandemic.

Thursday December 10
Morning program
10.00 – 10.15  Welcome and introductions
10.20 – 11.00  Miriam Wistreich – Hotel MariaKapel: Slow Burn: Building Institutions of Care including Q&A
Who do we care about and for? How can we qualify care as a feminist politics and avoid the pitfalls of caring badly or too much? How can we build practices and spaces of care within the limits of an exploitative system, with which we are all complicit? In 2020 HMK takes time to reflect on what it means to host and care for artists, bringing  together a range of voices to think about the politics of the  artist residency and how we can navigate through the landscape of the art world with care.
11.00 – 11.30  Sekai Makoni & G: A Pair of Clogs and Two Brits
Join Sekai and G for a drink of your choice. Lay down and get physically comfortable to talk about the uncomfortable. Think of it as questions to ask yourself and why they still may need answering.
11.30 – 12.00  Moderated discussion with speakers and audience

Afternoon program (FULL - only sign up for the waiting list)
14.00 – 16.15 Work sessions:

Anika Mariam Ahmed: Intercultural Dialogue
The artistic space offers room for different positions and perspectives. But within an art institution there are also stories and contexts that we can overlook, ignore or take for granted. This workshop investigates the relevance of different contexts for an artistic practice. Which sources and stories are relevant when making your work and how much do you want to share with an audience? What are our own blind spots in our ideas about art history and stories? Please note: Participants will be asked to read two texts before the workshop, which will then be discussed – these will be sent to participants prior to the event.

Claudia Zeiske – Deveron Projects: Hosting Translocality
Residencies often contribute to a locality in unexpected ways: in programmes in which local history, identity and current issues are the subject of research, through exchanges between artists, local residents and other experts. At the same time they relate to an (inter)national art discourse. What are the different ways — and conditions — for generating these specific localities, in the short and long term?

Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka – U-jazdowski Castle: Care, community, Laboratory
Nowadays one could easily recognize “care” - for today’s world, for humans and nature, as an essence and focus of artistic practice. Residence programs on the other hand worldwide continue to serve as an infrastructure and safe space to artists’ creativity, facilitating the need for space and time to reflect, connect, and engage in experiment and production. Who stand behind those institutional activities facilitating care towards the artists?  In caring for residents, how might one learn to care for themselves? And what is the future of care and its role as a tool for artistic activities?

16.20 – 17.00 Round up and closing session



Thursday January 14, 2021
11.00 - 12.15 Introduction and talk by Josine Sibum Siderius (Kunsthuis SYB) and Nathalie Hartjes (Showroom) Mama, with contribution by artists Sekai Makoni & G and larose larose.
This open-to-all-session explores how we, as institutions and individuals, can try to stay with the discomfort of difficult professional situations in order to grow as institutions. We will hear from the director of Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Nathalie Hartjes and see work by Harriet Rose Morley, Sekai Makoni & G and larose larose. This session is streamed on youtube here.

Workshop and network meeting
14.00-17.00 Three work sessions and moderated talk with Psychoanalyst and Professor of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, Lisa Baraitser.
In this workshop and network meeting we will discuss cases of the AiR practice that center complicated and uncomfortable professional experiences. The cases will be prepared in advance and the discussion will be moderated with the aim of making a safe, confidential space for sharing experiences. If this sounds daunting, do remember that we have all experienced projects that failed, relationships that soured, budgets that crumbled and all the rest of it. The goal here is to practice vulnerability and share in order to learn. Lisa Baraitser will give feedback on cases and learnings to qualify the shared experiences and develop tools for sitting with discomfort.
Preparation: Please dig out an experience from your own work life that left you with a difficult feeling - be it anger, grief, jealousy or any other uncomfortable emotion. Disclosing your experience is not obligatory, but you are welcome to share if you feel comfortable doing so.

About the contributors

Anika Mariam Ahmed is a painter living in Groningen, the Netherlands. She did her BFA in Painting and BA in English Literature in Dhaka, Bangladesh and MFA at Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen. Her paintings are intimate testaments of being present in the world, often from the viewpoint of an adolescent and in dialogue with everyday encounters. She is currently giving a workshop on intercultural dialogue at Frank Mohr Institute. 

Clare Butcher is a curator and educator from Zimbabwe who cooks and collaborates as part of her practice. She is currently Curator for Public Programming and Learning with the Toronto Biennial of Art’s team. Clare is wondering what the future of gathering and learning together might be, and how art education could transform the curriculum. Previously she co-organized the program unsettling Rietveld Sandberg with Judith Leysner and was aneducation coordinator for documenta 14. Clare has worked with museums, academies and community groups and holds an MFA from the School of Missing Studies, an MA in Curating the Archive from the University of Cape Town, as well as participated in the De Appel Curatorial Program.

Claudia Zeiske is the founder of Deveron Projects an international residency programme in the market town of Huntly in North-East Scotland. Here, the town is the venue rather than a gallery or arts centre. With a focus on the rural, Claudia has a unique curatorial interest based on a balanced approach between artistic criticality and community involvement through developing projects with artists from across the globe.

G is an Artist and Death doula currently residing at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.

Harriet Rose Morley is a multi-disciplinary artist, maker, educator, and facilitator. She works across the disciplines of public art, sculpture, architectural spaces, furniture design, urban planning, and alternative education. Her work and projects often challenge our conceptions of the function of public art, urban objects and space; how they do but often don’t function, and how they can be sources of humorous critique of urban architectural space and planning.

Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka is a manager of culture, curator and founder of the U–jazdowski residency programme in Warsaw. She graduated from Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities (University of Warsaw) and holds the European Diploma for Culture Management (Brussels). She is a member of the Programme Council of Akademie Schloss Solitude. Her research interests centre on the significance of residencies within the fields of artistic and institutional practice. She carries out projects in which visual arts become a tool of social change and are used to shape and promote alternative models of social development.

larose larose was born in Montréal (CA), holds an MA from the Dutch Art Institute (NL), and currently lives in Porto (PT). Their work in video, performance and installation seeks to counter the contamination of queer imaginaries by heteronormative politics, global capitalism and imperialist pop culture.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London, UK and a psychoanalyst and Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. Baraitser’s research focuses on time and care, drawing in discussions of gender, sexuality and motherhood from the fields of feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and philosophies of ethics, affect, and event. She is the author of the award-winning monograph Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and Enduring Time (Bloomsbury, 2017) and is currently co-Principal Investigator on an interdisciplinary research project on the relation between time and healthcare called Waiting Times, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Miriam Wistreich is a curator, educator and occasional writer and currently Creative Director at Hotel Maria Kapel, a residency and exhibition space in Hoorn, Noord-Holland. Together with artists Griet Menschaert and Maja Bekan she led HMK’s “year of reflection and redirection” through an experimental program entitled Slow Burn, which has tried to understand how we can build institutions of care within neoliberal capitalism.

Nathalie Hartjes studied art history and Archeology (MA, 2004) at the Leiden University. Since 2015, she is director of MAMA, a platform for visual culture and young talent in Rotterdam. MAMA is one of the pioneering institutions in the area of talent development in the Netherlands, working in a participatory manner with a large group of budding professionals in their twenties (Team MAMA), both behind and in front of the scenes. In 2014, she led Nieuwe Vide art space in Haarlem. She was employed by De Appel arts centre in Amsterdam from 2010 to 2015, where she was coordinator of both its renowned Curatorial Programme and the innovative Gallerist Programme that ran from 2012–14. She started her career at the institute Formerly known as Witte de With, where she was based from 2004–08.

Sekai Makoni is an artist, podcaster, writer and workshop facilitator. Her work explores Blackness, particularly centreing the voices of Black women in Europe through her podcast Between Ourselves. Her graduate work explores the Black church, faith rituals and how to reimagine those spaces as queer affirming. As the artist in residence at Hotel Maria Kapel her work explored notions of rest, slowing down and guilt as it pertains to Black women and her current work considers the whiteness of the holistic health space and focuses on African diasporic approaches to maternal and menstrual health. Sekai also hosts panels and workshops on themes such as active listening and anti-racism as part of her artistic practice.

Thato Mogotsi is a Johannesburg-based independent arts practitioner with a practice that spans the curatorial, photography and archival research. After an initial start in South African print media houses as a picture researcher, she has since collaborated on and collectively curated contemporary art projects and exhibitions in varying institutions, including Wits School of Arts and the Wits Art Museum the Johannesburg Art Gallery, ROOM Gallery & Projects, Constitution Hill. Mogotsi was a curatorial recipient of the Thami Mnyele Foundation’s Residency Award, Amsterdam, in early 2019.

This event is initiated by Hotel Maria Kapel, Kunsthuis SYB and TransArtists' AiR Platform NL

Hotel Maria Kapel (HMK) is an artist-in-residence and exhibition space for contemporary visual arts in the city centre of Hoorn. HMK aims to support early practice artists in the production of new work and to promote exchanges between national and international artists, cultural institutions and the public. HMK’s current annual program Slow Burn investigates the concept of care and asks how we can build institutions of care within a capitalist society with which we are all complicit.

Kunsthuis SYB is a residency in Beetsterzwaag, in Friesland. At Kunsthuis SYB, contemporary artists and curators are offered a workplace in the lee of the (art) world. Residents are selected on the basis of a project proposal and invited to work and stay at Kunsthuis SYB for six weeks. Artists are invited to develop their work through focused research, experiments and new collaborations. This year Kunsthuis SYB celebrates its 20th anniversary: an opportunity to reflect on this place where many artists have already thought about the role of art in society, about ecological issues and post-colonialist issues.

AiR Platform NL organizes, together with the AiR organizations and their partners, meetings and programs for mutual exchange of knowledge and experience. Building on the outcomes of previous meetings, research and symposia such as ‘Working on the margins’ in 2018 in cooperation with Kunstloc in Tilburg, TransArtists’ AiR Platform NL works together with HMK and Kunsthuis SYB to investigate the key question of this symposium together with the guest speakers, the AiR organizations, funds and policymakers in the Netherlands.

The symposium is kindly supported by Pictoright Fonds.

PDF icon Reader.pdf