Pollinaria operates at the intersection of art, science and agriculture. At the heart of rural Abruzzo, pollinaria integrates research programmes for artists and scientists with practices of organic farming that preserve and support local genetic patrimony.
Interview with Nikola Uzunovski, who was resident at Pollinaria, as published in the Trans Artists workshop manual, October 2010
Residency: Pollinaria, Italy
Nikola Uzunovski, Macedonia
What brought you to the Pollinaria residency?
It all started some three years ago with my
project ‘My sunshine’, which is about an artificial
sun. I met a young lawyer who studies art,
law and science regarding the environment and
agriculture. He owns different kinds of bio-agricultural
plantations and he decided to donate
some of the houses, which were previously
used by the workers, as a residency for scientists
and artists who have been researching
in that field. He saw my project ‘My Sunshine’
and liked it a lot. He invited me to work at the
Pollinaria residence in central Italy. There was
a budget so we made a research plan.
Did you have any time limits in terms of the residency;
any deadlines for finishing your project?
Theoretically speaking the project started two
years before the actual residency took place
and it had been already shown in an exhibition
six months before starting the residency. In
Italy everything goes very flexible and we had
neither a timetable, nor a fixed budget. It was -
see what we can do and do it the best way we
can. Of course we also agreed that we could
continue to work in the future, probably to go
back to Pollinaria and continue working there.
‘My sunshine’ was shown at the 53rd Venice
Did the Pollinaria residency play any role in being in the Biennale?
Well, the residency director, Gaetano Carboni,
said it would be worth trying to get into the
Biennale, because the chance my project
would pass the selection was bigger because
of the residency.
In this sense, it was helpful in terms of contacts
No, not because of the contacts. It was
because of the quality of the research programme.
Carboni organized such a good team
to work with and such good facilities and logistics
that we managed to develop this interesting
project within a short time.
Was the residency funded?
Pollinaria has two programmes, one for which
artists can apply and one by invitation. If you
apply yourself, you have to pay a fee and if you
are invited, everything is paid for you. It’s a
private funded residency so the organizer has
the freedom to decide but for each artist it is
different. This residency is really flexible; it can
be for a short term or long term period, it can
be research or for production. But in all cases
it surely is a great experience!
18th Century rural settlement located in a forest reserve