To recognize and return to the practice of essential values such as solidarity, will, honesty, empathy, work ethic, is essential to face the precariousness and instability of the shared world.

Hugo Palmar, Artist, airWG Team, Amsterdam (NL)

Symposium On Affecting Change Through Artist-In-Residencies

Symposium On Affecting Change Through Artist-In-Residencies

An online program to reflect together how to bring change in and through the daily running of small art organizations

This program was conceived and produced by Dutch artist-in-residence organizations Hotel Mariakapel and Kunsthuis SYB together with TransArtists | AiR Platform NL. We looked back at an extraordinary year as 2020 saw the continuation of the global pandemic as well as massive Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, continued #metoo debates and myriads of other struggles for justice and equality. The dramatic events spurred us to ask: how can we, as residencies, as small art organizations, as artists, can affect positive change in our immediate environment and society at large?

The program brought together different voices and propositions, all based in the daily running of residencies and art spaces, and took place in three parts, in December 2020 and in January 2021.

Read more about the outcomes - a hands-on, online publication, here.


Tuesday December 8, 2020
AiR network meeting with framed discussion Residing Reciprocally by Clare Butcher with Thato Mogotsi
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
Miriam Wistreich – Hotel MariaKapel: Slow Burn: Building Institutions of Care
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.

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.

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?


Thursday January 14, 2021
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.

Three work sessions 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.

About the contributors

Anika Mariam Ahmed is a painter living in Groningen (NL). 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. Read more on her website.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London (UK) and as psychoanalyst 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.

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. Here you find a current cv.

G is an artist and Death Doula, born in the United Kingdom and currently residing at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (NL).

Nathalie Hartjes studied Art History and Archeology at Leiden University (NL). 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).

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. Read more here.

Sekai Makoni is an artist, podcaster, writer and workshop facilitator. Her work explores Blackness, particularly centrering the voices of Black women in Europe through her podcast Between Ourselves. 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 in her podcast Black Women & Rest.

Thato Mogotsi is a Johannesburg-based independent arts practitioner with a practice that spans the curatorial, photography and archival research. Mogotsi was a curatorial recipient of the Thami Mnyele Foundation’s Residency Award, Amsterdam, in early 2019.

Harriet Rose Morley is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. She works across the disciplines of public art, sculpture, architectural spaces, furniture design and urban planning. Her work and projects often challenge our conceptions of the function of public art, urban objects and space. For more take a look at her website.

Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka is founder of the U–jazdowski residency programme in Warsaw and 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. In het art projects focus is on social change and alternative models of social development.

Miriam Wistreich is a curator, educator and occasional writer and until shortly Creative Director at Hotel Maria Kapel, a residency and exhibition space in Hoorn, Noord-Holland. Wistreich was recently appointed as the new director of UKS, Young Artists Society in Oslo, Norway.

Claudia Zeiske is the founder of Deveron Projects, an international residency programme in the market town of Huntly in North-East Scotland. With a focus on the rural, Claudia has a unique curatorial approach balancing artistic criticality and community involvement through developing projects with artists from across the globe.

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

Hotel Maria Kapel 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.

Kunsthuis SYB is a residency in Beetsterzwaag, in Friesland, run by Josine Sibum Siderius. 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 for six weeks. They are invited to develop their work through focused research, experiments and new collaborations.

TransArtists | AiR Platform NL, in the person of Heidi Vogels, organises together with the AiR organisations and their partners, meetings and programmes 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.

The symposium is kindly supported by Pictoright Fonds.