Russian artist-in-residence Potential Symposium Moscow

Russian artist-in-residence Potential Symposium Moscow

Results and plans, developed in Senezh, were presented and discussed during a third symposium day, which took place at PROEKT_FABRIKA in Moscow, June 17th, 2010. Speakers reacted to the main question of the day:

How to raise attention and support within Russia for artist-in-residence opportunities?

Art Residency symposium Moscow at PROEKT_Fabrika

From left to right: Tatyana Sergievskaya, Elena Zelentsova (Creative Industries Moscow), Wolf Iro & Johannes Ebert (Goethe Institut), Yuri Nikich, Elena Tupysova (Tsekh Dance Company)

Wolf Iro, Goethe Institut: "Don't wait, just start."

The Goethe Institut in Moscow has taken initiative in creating and stimulating residence opportunities in Russia. The project Art on Site runs since 2008: seven German artists were invited to stay and work in Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg. An important aim of the project is to connect to local artists. Through this project the Goethe Institut tries to stimulate future local residency possiblities.

Elena Zelentsova, Creative Industries Agency, Moscow: "Residencies can't be stopped"

Although the concept of artist-in-residence seems to be the same everywhere, it must be adjusted to the local situation in Russia. Residencies ideally could be supported by local resources. But to take initiative locally is something relatively rare and new in the Russian context, especially in the governmental sector. Zelentsova concluded that indeed there is a new tendency locally to come forward with creative initiatives. This development can't be stopped. It might take some time, we need patience, but without doubt in Russia in the upcoming years more residency opportunities will come into existence.

Erik Hagoort, TransArtists: "No artists, no residencies!"

"No artists, no residencies!" That was the message of Trans Artists representative Erik Hagoort. While attending the symposia in Senezh and Moscow he noticed such an eager willingness from the side of art professionals, museums, and creative industry agencies to set up residency opportunities, that the main users of a residency seemed to be forgotten: the artists. He urged all initiatives to start with considering the perspective of the artists first. What do artists want? How to connect to their wishes and needs? These questions should come first. Building the infrastructure of the residency should come second. The objection of the opposite - no residencies, no artists - is obviously not true. If there are no residencies, still there will be artists around. They will go their way, they will find their way, although without the special opportunities that residency programs can offer. Therefore Hagoort stated it is crucial to consider what a residency has on offer for the artist. Hagoort: "The vision and the conviction of the residency host-institution must stay connected to what the residency users want."

Jean-Baptiste Joly, Director Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart: "Show conviction!"

After an instructive lecture on the long-term history of the artist-in-residence phenomenon, Jean-Baptiste Joly emphazised that an artist-in-residence program is a long term investment: for the artist, as well as for the host-institution. You cannot expect a residency to have direct results. In many cases a residency only can be valued years later. Because of this Joly stated that the conviction of the host institution is crucial. One must convince potential supporters (funds, public, governments), time and again. In his experience this is the same everywhere. Offer potential supporters clear arguments. Put your arguments in their mouths. Be clever, be convincing. And have stamina!

Claudia Scholtz, Hessische Kultur Stiftung, Wiesbaden: "Don't have too high expectations."

"Take your time! And don't have too high expectations." That was the advice of Claudia Scholz for anybody from 'the West' who wants to collaborate with Russian partners to create residency opportunities in Russia. Scholtz herself approached potential Russian partners for some years now. To her surprise there wasn't much enthusiasm among governmental representatives of culture. Scholtz self-critically and honestly talked about her experiences. She urged Russian residency initiatives to collaborate with Western partners, to show interest and stay in contact.

Irene Saddal, Res Artis: "Connect!"

"Connect to each other, support each other." That was the message of Res Artis representative Irene Saddal. Res Artis is the international network of residential art centers. By organizing international meetings the network provides a framework for exchange of knowledge and support in running a residency. Saddal congratulated all those present with the launch of the new Russian residency network ArtResideRUS.

Read more about the Symposium at Senezh