Different approaches to residencies

Different approaches to residencies


During the plenary session Different approaches to residencies various models of organising art residencies were discussed.

What about different approaches?

Which AiR models could fit to different regions in Europe? Does an artist-in-residence program in an Eastern European country actually asks for a different approach than a residency in Western Europe? Or is the question itself problematic?

Developing new vocabulary

Some participants argued that using notions like "Eastern Europe" and "Western Europe" repeat dominant cliché's and sustain presumptions and fictions from both sides. We need to develop new vocabulary, they stated, to describe imbalances between different countries, whether they are in the east or in the west of Europe. For others the use of these terms seemed to be no problem at all, as for them these only referred to geography.

Do it your own way!

It was fruitful for all to acknowledge possible hidden connotations, which are implied in the use of concepts as 'east' and 'west', when dealing with issues concerning the AiR sector. Nevertheless it is important to face differences between countries concerning funding, infrastructure and cultural politics. Initiators of new AiR programs can learn a lot from their peers, but there is not one way to go. Each host of a new AiR center is an expert on what is needed in his or her own region. So the outcome of this session was: "Do it your own way!"