Rejmyre Art Lab: Open Call on the theme of Refuging
Rejmyre Art Lab invites artists from fine, performing, and craft backgrounds, who are engaged with conceptual and contextual practices, to participate in a funded eight-week, production-based residency in Rejmyre, Sweden, in the spring and summer of 2023. Rejmyre has, since 2009, played host to a long-term, place-based, artistic research project with a focus on site-responsive practice.
One of the organisation’s primary research themes has, since 2018, been refuging: an exploration of how giving/taking refuge, as an act and practice, can be developed and facilitated through multiple artistic interactions and interventions. The theme has been developed by the project’s research leader Daniel Peltz, who, together with artistic director Sissi Westerberg, will introduce the theme and projects developed thus far during the ensemble residency week.
Refuging is a call to action for artists to develop the practice of giving/taking refuge. The initiator of this project, the U.S./Swedish artist Daniel Peltz, asks you to reconsider the notion of refuge, not as a noun (a refuge, a refugee, etc.) but as a verb, as a vital, inherently reciprocal set of actions. He asks “how might we, as artists, use this thin sliver of time, while the worst impacts of climate change are still in the future, to develop our capacity as a society to give and to take refuge?” Refuging takes the form of a series of productions-in-residence, that will result in a broadly distributed refuging toolkit, a set of artist-shaped models for how to do this complicated work of refuging. Peltz writes, “perhaps in the not-too-distant future, people facing the need to refuge will pick up this toolkit and say, ‘I heard they tried it this way in Rejmyre.’”
One question that has become central to Peltz’ thinking around refuging is: How does a factory town that produces glass, become a factory town that produces refuge? Here Peltz references and is responding to the appropriation of small towns like Rejmyre as temporary refuges for newly arrived people, while ‘better housing’ was built for them in, implicitly, ‘better places’. Peltz, who has been investigating the town of Rejmyre for over 15 years, challenges the logic of this articulation. He asks, What if this was actually a better place than many to do this thing called refuging? Here he performs a shift on our usual association with the word ‘refuge’, moving it from a noun, referring to people and places, to a verb referring to a set of actions. In this shift refuging expands to become a practice that encompasses everyone. The subject positions of the refugee who comes seeking refuge and the one who gives refuge collapse and we are left with a reciprocal state that we all might learn to perform and inhabit better. Further, Peltz makes a claim that sites like Rejmyre, that have been used up in the cycle of extraction, depletion and abandonment, are not just good enough places to house refugees but places that are uniquely well suited to developing the practice of refuging because they themselves are in need of refuge.
The residency consists of a funded eight-week working period, with six weeks on-site in Rejmyre:
- One week of Ensemble Residency (for more on this structure see below): April 24-30, 2023
- Individual research and production on-site in Rejmyre: May 1 - June 5, 2023
- Reflection and post-production, off-site: Two weeks of work spread out over the summer & autumn of 2023.
They invite artists, working in any medium, who are interested in engaging their practices in exploring the research topic of ‘refuging’ (for more on the research topic see below) to apply. They offer support for the participation of:
- Two artists from any country outside of the Nordic/Baltic region
- Two artists from the Nordic/Baltic region (outside of Sweden)
- Two regional artists based in Östergötland, Sweden
They look forward to having a diverse cohort of practitioners and thereby offer three types of support:
- Artist Residency for international applicants beyond the Nordic and Baltic regions (funded by IASPIS): Participation stipend of 24 000 SEK, material/production stipend up to 12 500 SEK, travel stipend, housing in Rejmyre (individual bedrooms with shared bathroom and shared communal spaces), shared production space in historic early 20th century factory buildings with the possibility of individual (bookable) space + 1 communal lunch per week
- Artist Residency for Nordic and Baltic artists (funded by Nordic Culture Point) : Participation stipend of 24 000 SEK, material/production stipend up to 12 500 SEK, travel stipend, housing in Rejmyre (individual bedrooms with shared bathroom and shared communal spaces), shared production space in historic early 20th century factory buildings with the possibility of individual (bookable) space + 1 communal lunch per week
- Artist Residency for regional and local artists of Östergötland (funded by Kulturrådet, Region Östergötland, Finspångs kommun): We invite artists in the vicinity of Östergötland to participate in the Refuging Production Residency by offering studio space in the Refuging Pavilion in Rejmyre to compliment their practice. They seek artists who are able to be present for the Ensemble Residency week as well as at least 2 days/week during the residency period but who do not need overnight accommodations. Participation stipend of 10 000 SEK ex. VAT, material budget up to 5000 SEK, a travel budget of 1500 sek, studio space within the shared Refuging Pavilion, a conceptual art work created by artist Daniel Peltz in collaboration with Danish architect Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard + 1 communal lunch per week
Please note that all artists will be present during the same time in Rejmyre. In connection to this residency there will also be an autumn presentation in our exhibition space, Engelska Magasinet, in Rejmyre, of the individual and shared processes and practices produced during the residency: September 23 - November 5, 2023. Exhibition fees following the Swedish MU agreement will be applied.
They encourage all professionals working within the contemporary art and craft fields to apply online. Deadline: January 31, 2023.