Mutual artist-in-residence Impulse 2
What about artist-in-residence opportunities in Russia?
TransArtists finds out for you, together with our Russian partners. Read here all about our Close Encounters during the 2nd tour of the Mutual Impulse project to Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow, last November, 2012.
Center and Periphery
In each city two sorts of meetings took place:
Everybody interested in matters of artist-in-residence joined in platforms to exchange questions and ideas.
Meetings on the spot, spontaneous visits to fresh residency projects, discussions with local artists and policy makers.
Mutual Impulse team members of the program in November 2012 were:
- Olga Gartman, Association of Cultural Managers, Moscow/ coordinator Art Residency Nikola-Lenivets
- Erik Hagoort, representing Trans Artists.
- Gaston ten Horn, М4 Residence Amsterdam, focus on the experience of NL AiR providers.
- Georgi Nikich, AiR expert, initiator of ArtResideRUS network, Russia.
- Heidi Vogels, Trans Artists/ AiR Platform NL, focus on exchange with the NL AiR sector.
Siberian Center for Contemporary Art
November 23, Novosibirsk
More than 40 curious people gathered during the first platform meeting at the Siberian Center for Contemporary Art: artist, curators, teachers, policy-makers. Everybody was interested in everything concerning artist-in-residence matters. Some knew each other very well, others never had met each other before. All shared an interest in creating opportunities in Novosibirsk to host artists and other creative professionals, from Russia and elsewhere.
All participants shared the concern that Novosibirsk has a lack of resources and opportunities for contemporary art exchange. Although Novosibirsk is a big and thriving city, it only attracts an international crowd during big festivals, especially the international innovation festival: Interra Forum. Outside of this festival however people feel the city being cut off from the international art world.
The platform meeting proved that in Novosibirsk a strong do-it-yourself attitude prevails.
Take the initiative yourself, otherwise nothing will happen.
The 3 hour (!) discussion concluded with appealing advise by participants among themselves:
- make your own conviction clear to yourself and others
- be realistic, don't push expectations too high
- start small, give it a try
- have patience
- get connected to like-minded people
- share your experiences with other initiatives
- make visible what you do, show what you value
Andrey Kurchenko, artist and stage designer living and working in Novosibirsk, talked about the short success (2009-2011) of Spasibo Primore art residency in Novosibirsk. Spasibo Primore was founded with the conviction "to offer a prophylaxis of art for society", Kurchenko explained.
The centre was located in a former sanatorium building complex, which was partially owned and managed by artists. They organized many art festivals and offered opportunities for art work in all genres, in any material. There was a focus on performance and connection with the theatre titled Atmosphere, also in the art centre. Unfortunately in 2011 the premises were sold and the buildings demolished.
Andrey Kurchenko (with microphone):
"For me it is part of my artistic practice to host guests. I can't imagine art making without the input of artists from other environments around."
Plans: Kurchenko has developed plans for a new residency for Novosibirsk, building on the experience of Spasibo Primore. He and fellow artists are on the look out for the right opportunity for starting up again.
Please feel free to connect: [email protected]
Siberian Center for Contemporary Art
November 23, Novosibirsk
The 2nd platform was organized in collaboration with Goethe Institut Novosibirsk.
Young curators from Germany and Siberia joined in, as part of their studytrip through Siberia.
Participants came from Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Leipzig (Cultures of the Curatorial program).
More and more residencies offer opportunities for curators.
Curators use residencies for many different purposes.
- research and writing to prepare or finish one's own curatorial project.
- getting to know the local art world and expanding one's network.
- studio visits for a specific curatorial project.
- studying the residency's specific theme, which matches with the curator's interest.
- peer review by fellow curators & education by experienced curators.
Curators are beginning to use residential art centers as laboratories, as base-stations for developing a curatorial project on the spot. They work together with other residents, to realize a show, to work on a project. The residency then becomes a curatorial project itself. The it is not so much about the curator anymore but about the effort of curating-in-residence.
We discussed the striking parallels between curatorship and the artist-in-residence concept.
Both increasingly start to resemble one another. Curatorship isn't about showing artists' works only anymore.
Artist-in-residence isn't only about providing of time, space, and facilities anymore.
Both curatorship ánd artists-in-residence are about taking care of a situation in which artists are invited to spend time and to work in accordance with certain conditions: a certain environment, community, building, or assignment.
Providers of residency programs themselves increasingly operate as curators. Residential art centers curate the flux of visiting artists. They do this through the application procedure, through setting conditions and contexts. Therefore we might even consider the residency program itself as a "curator", as a curating institute.
Close Encounter 1
November 24, Novosibirsk
How can artist-in-residence be a tool for creative children's education?
That was the central question for a close encounter with the City's Center for Creative Projects: www.gcpt.ru
The Center organizes extra youth education. Experimental models for creative learning are developed and tested on the spot, in designs for classrooms.
Nadezhda Andreeva (middle) and Mikhail Moiseev (right) explained their idea to invite artists to stay and work with the children, in order to contribute to the city's creative atmosphere.
Tea and cookies
The encounter triggered a thorough exchange of thoughts on motivations and aims of using artist-in-residence as a tool. What is expected of the visiting artist? What freedom does the visiting artist have within the framework of expectations?
Georgii Nikich (picture far left):
"You might use an art residence as an instrument for your purposes, but never forget that an art residence is a free zone: арт ресиденц свободное места!"
Close encounter 2
November 24, Novosibirsk
Artist-in-residence is something you DO!
That is the conviction of artist-photographer Ivan Dyrken.
You don't need much:
a bed under a roof,
a piece of land to park a lorry.
No need for institutionalization.
Ivan Dyrken offers hospitality to artists he invites to stay and work for some time in Novosibirsk.
On his small piece of land near the river Ob we spent the evening at his family house and admired his new, self-built dome-house under construction. Dyrken and friends showed video's of art festivals on his land and of a nomadic collaborative project with Austrian artist Lukas Pusch: the driving "White Cube Gallery Novosibirsk".
November 26, Krasnoyarsk
Dom Kino - House of Cinema
Hosted by director of House of Cinema Natalya Georgievna
More than 40 people gathered at the House of Cinema in Krasnoyarsk for a questions & answers presentation by the Mutual Impulse team. The mixed audience consisted of cultural entrepreneurs, artists, project managers, art history students, photographers, designers.
Many different ideas and plans are circulating. Just like in Novosibirsk the main concern was the lack of cultural initiative in town, and the lack of connection with the international contemporary art world. People are worried that creative people leave Krasnoyarsk, to go to Moscow and beyond.
Artist-in-residence is seen as a potential instrument to get connected to the international art world and to boost the local art scene. The meeting brought people and ideas together.
Full House at Dom Kino, Krasnoyarsk
The meeting ended with a surprise, even for people of Krasnoyarsk. Dasha Marzinkovskaya announced that an art residence already exists in Krasnoyarsk, the House Art Residency.
Close Encounter 3
November 2, Krasnoyarsk
The Mutual Impulse team was invited to visit the House Art Residency, where artists gather, give concerts, and guests are invited to stay and work. It was a lively acquaintance with the initiator Olga Kolesnikova, and her team and friends.
The initiators were curious for advice and exchange of experience. Somehow the House starts to function as a residency program, step by step finding out what is possible.
Oleg and Pavel
artists at the residency house.
The house is small, guests have to accept that they form part of family living. Main goal is to offer alternative space for creative professionals, and contributing to the cultural dynamics of Krasnoyarsk.
November 28, Yekaterinburg
National Center for Contemporary Art
Hosted by director of the NCCA Alisa Prudnikova
A committed group of artist-in-residence initiators and interested people gathered for the expert meetings Artist-in-Residence as an Instrument to discuss different art residency models, experiences, and examples. The NCCA branch of Yekaterinburg itself has been active in realizing artist-in-residence projects, in the framework of the Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2010.
Right: On our way to NCCA Yekaterinburg
Gaston ten Horn (M4 Amsterdam), Olga Gartman (AMC Moscow), Heidi Vogels (Trans Artists)
Nikitina Evgenia, coordinator of Cultural Transit, told about its results since its foundation in May 2010. The main aim of Cultural Transit is to use culture as a resource for solving social problems, including for instance assistance to vulnerable people, creating conditions for creativity of persons with disabilities. With three parttime employees a lot of projects have been realized, amongst which the residency projects of Berlin artists Andreas Maerker and Dana Engfer.
Profit or not?
An interesting debate was held concerning the question whether artist-in-residence is a non-commercial or a commercial enterprise.
Is it possible to earn money with artist-in-residence?
No, was the sharp answer by Heidi Vogels of Trans Artists.
No artist-in-residence program in itself or from itself profitable in terms of cash money, she stated.
But…. that is not the end of the answer, Vogels also made clear.
NCCA building Yekaterinburg
Artist-in-residence certainly is part of a bigger whole of interests: the status of the organization, the opportunities for artists' careers, the possibilities of offering working facilities, the production of works of art, being part of funding schemes and subsidies, sponsorships by private companies, collaborations with international networks. To function within the AiR sector might indeed trigger in-kind "profit" and professional opportunities.
How to get to an artist-in-residence program?
Workshop-presentation for artists
November 28, Yekaterinburg
National Center for Contemporary Art
The workshop-presentation was attended by around 30 young artists and designers from Yekaterinburg.
Aim of the workshop was to give the participants basic insight in how to get access to knowledge about artist-in-residence. How to search, find, match, and apply for international art residencies?
After the meeting many participants stayed to ask questions and to receive advice.
Close Encounter 4
November 30, Moscow
Margarita Ermolaeva, coordinator of the AiR program of PROEKT_Fabrika, guided the Dutch members of the Mutual Impulse team through the premises of PROEKT_Fabrika and the guest studio itself. The AiR program here is in a phase of transition.
Gaston ten Horn (left)
Margarita Ermolaeva (middle)
Heidi Vogels (right)
Right image: visiting the artists' studio at PROEKT_Fabrika
The initiator and owner, Asya Filippova, and coordinator Ermolaeva, are searching for new, fresh connections of the AiR program, especially with the neighbourhood and the city. The aim is to open up to visitors and the local community.
DK-ZIL Cultural Center
Hosted by DK-ZIL director Elena Zelentsova
Re-think and Re-consider
This Platform meeting was a special event: it was a unique opportunity for the initiators and coordinators of the main artist-in-residence programs existing in and around Moscow, to meet one another and exchange thoughts about their motives, wishes and concerns: Gridchin Hall, Guslitsa residency, Nikola Lenivetz residency, PROEKT_Fabrika.
For director of DK-Zil Elena Zelentsova (image right) an art residency triggers her to rethink the function of a cultural venue such as DK-ZIL: by developing an AiR Program, the center might help to transform the institution into a host and into a connecting point.
Sergey Gridchin and coordinator Anton Mariasov explained that since 4 years the AiR Program of Gridchin Hall runs in full independence and from Gridchin's own personal and artistic conviction. He is totally committed to the guest artist, who he introduces to networks, galleries, clients and contacts, and gives time and space for art production and exhibiting. Nevertheless, Gridchin reconsiders now his program: it should be able in the future to get at least some money out of it, to pay the team and extra expenses. Although it is his private ownership, he considers it important that the AiR Program has a public function and connects to the audience and society.
Irina Nikolaeva, and coordinator Nadezhda Afonina, explained about the recent AiR program of Guslitsa, freshly started Summer 2012. Guslitsa is a private initiative, on the basis of a personal conviction. The aim is immersion in creativity, not only for some, but for many more artists: in total 70 artists can stay Guslitsa at the same time. Nikolaeva hopes to generate some income from payments for festivals, events, and educational projects, but the main point is to offer free time an space. The collaborative atmosphere itself should trigger people's enthusiasm to contribute or support Guslitsa, by hand or by money.
Margarita Ermolaeva of PROEKT_Fabrika explained that the AiR Program of PROEKT_Fabrika functions within a cluster of multi-purpose spaces, small companies, ateliers, etc. . The AiR program should be independent, by renting the space and by renting other spaces in the building as working spaces for art professionals. Guests of the AiR studio may use the exhibition hall. A specific, smaller exhibition space is dedicated to show socially committed art projects.
Irina Prilezhaeva, coordinator of the AiR Program of Nikola-Lenivetz, explained that the focus there is on territory development, but not from out of nothing: there is already the history of a recent art festival, Archstoyanie, there are villages, there are expectations. All these different interests make the AiR program function as a hub, maybe to connect these different interests. This is complicated but adventurous.
Rounding up the meeting, the last issue at stake was collaboration between the AiR programs themselves and between the AiR programs and other cultural institutions, such as museums : what kind of partnerships could be fruitful, what connections could support the continuity and consistency of the different programs?
Close Encounter 5
December 1, Moscow
From Moscow Center a bus brought the Mutual Impulse team with many interested Moscovites to Guslitsa, appr. 80 km's from Moscow. The trip was a good opportunity to make acquaintance with the team of Guslitsa employees: Nadezhda Afonina, Mayuko Ogawa, and Albina Nurgaleeva.
At Guslitsa all visitors received a guided tour around the enormous building. Different sections of the building were in different state of renovation. Specific features of Guslitsa:
- a mix of opportunities for individual and group residencies, for small and larger groups, in dormitories.
- opportunities for performing artists and big spaces and good facilities for music and theater performances.
- a collaborative atmosphere, triggered by communal kitchen and dinner spaces.
Left: Irina Nikolaeva, founder of Guslitsa
Right: Albina Nurgaleeva, team member
Mutual Impulse presentations at Guslitsa
The Mutual Impulse team was offered the opportunity to present the results of the Mutual Impulse project up till now, and to give short introductions into the work of Trans Artists, the AiR Platform NL, and the M4 residency in Amsterdam. An audience of around 50 people attended the presentations, during dinner. The journalist of the local newspaper, Aleksei Markov, translated and interviewed the Mutual Impulse team for a publication in the newspaper.
Right image: Concert in the performance- and exhibition hall of Guslitsa