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In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of its Eastern European Residency Exchange Program (EERE), Art in General presented What Now? a two-day international symposium that investigated the shifting role of the artist residency and its relationship to contemporary artistic practice. Focused on the generation of new ideas rather than an exchange of information, the participants used their unique position as practitioners to investigate fresh approaches to artistic and cultural mobility and exchange. Speakers included: Nathalie Angles/Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria (Residency Unlimited, New York); Anne Barlow (Art in General, New York); Fritzie Brown (CEC ArtsLink, New York); Kari Conte (ISCP, New York); Galit Eilat (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands); Branko Franceschi (The Museum of the Avant-Garde, Croatia); Ellen Harvey (EERE Artist); Vít Havránek (Tranzit, Prague, Czech Republic); Razvan Ion/Eugen Radescu (Pavilion, Romania); Krist Gruijthuijsen (Kunstverein, Amsterdam, New York, Milan); Virginija Januskeviciute (CAC Vilnius, Lithuania); Livia Paldi (Baltic Art Center, Visby, Sweden); Lisa Rosendahl (IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden); Steven Rand (apexart, New York); and Ika Sienkieqicz-Nowacka (Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland)
Ten years on, as Art in General expands its international partnerships alongside this in-depth collaboration with one region of the world, it felt timely to assess the impact of the EERE program and to examine how the collaborations have informed the respective practices of Art in General and how we can constantly provoke or encourage one another to re-energize this network structure and inspire new ways of thinking. Art in General was pleased to bring to New York such a wide-range of active artists, curators, critics, and thinkers, whose individual and collective insight actively contributed to the future incarnation of Art in General’s programming. The first day of the Symposium was closed to the public, and consisted of an internal analysis of the organization’s 10-year presence in and partnership with Eastern Europe, with a larger conversation about how the EERE program might evolve in the future. The second day, open to the public, consisted of a series of conversations focused on the ways in which the concept and role of the “artist residency” continues to shift and transform. By focusing on the generation of new ideas rather than an exchange of information, the participants used their unique position as practitioners to investigate the theoretical concepts and ideas behind and within artistic cultural mobility and exchange.
March 4 & 5, 2012
March 4: Art in General, 79 Walker Street, NY, NY 10013 March 5: Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 Sixth Avenue, NY, NY 10013
The Eastern European Residency Exchange program was established by Art in General’s former Director, Holly Block, in 2001 as an outgrowth of contacts made through participation in ArtsLink and the NAAO Cultural Exchange with Central and Eastern Europe. Intended to provide support systems and a degree of infrastructure for regions that had undergone significant change and/or political conflict, the program was designed to rotate through different countries and institutions, developing a network of communication, not just between Eastern European sites and Art in General, but among the European sites themselves. Most recently, Art in General partnered with Croatia and Romania at the HDLU, Zagreb, and PAVILION, Bucharest. This program was also formerly hosted by arts organizations in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. In 2001, the program’s stated goals were to:
• Build a greater understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures while promoting tolerance
• Advance the careers of emerging artists through opportunities to create and present new work, interact with the public, and develop a network of professional contacts
• Increase scholarly discourse about the artists’ work through the publication of Residency brochures
• Foster a dialogue among arts professionals, managers and curators from different cultures, while enabling exchange about differing methodologies and strategies
• Cultivate long-standing and meaningful relationships between and among artists and organizations in the United States and Central and Eastern Europe
10 years on, as Art in General expands its international partnerships alongside this in-depth collaboration with one region of the world, it feels timely to assess the impact of the EERE program and to examine: (1) how the collaborations have informed the respective practices of Art in General and its partners; (2) how the program itself reflects the significantly different situation of Eastern Europe now as to compared to 2001; (3) how partners can constantly provoke or encourage one another to re-energize this network structure and ways of thinking, and (4) how “re-thinking” international partnerships within this EERE context can impact the expansion of Art in General’s international programming into other regions.
What Now? March 4, 2012
INTERNAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Looking backwards while moving forward (The effects and results of ten years of cultural exchange)
Branko Franceschi and Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka
Ellen Harvey and Courtenay Finn
Moderated by Anne Barlow
Questions posed: How has the EERE collaboration informed the partner’s respective practices (in terms of both the institutional and curatorial activities)? To what degree, and in what ways, has dialogue actually happened, and how/where has this dialogue been manifested? What have been some of the most meaningful artist exchanges, and why have they been so? Discuss the experience of what it meant/means to participate in Art in General’s EERE program and how it evolved over time? Consider the varying resources and infrastructure of particular countries as opposed to others, how funding is distributed, what the impact is on artists’ projects and on the visibility of those places.
From here to there and back again (The shifting context of working with Eastern Europe and what this means for future collaborations)
Livia Paldi, Galit Eilat and Răzvan Ion
Moderated by Fritzie Brown
Questions Posed: What are the new networks within Eastern Europe and between Eastern Europe and internationally? What contexts/issues are the most pressing to address? How have perceptions of contemporary artists from Eastern Europe changed given the higher profile of many artists from the region? To what degree are the existing models of collaboration between the United States and Eastern Europe relevant to the contexts in which artists in Eastern Europe are currently practicing? How can one model be applied equally to countries that in some cases still have markedly different resources, infrastructures, education practices, and funding?
Re-thinking and re-imagining international models (Provoking, encouraging, and re-energizing networks)
Steven Rand, Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria and Eugen Rădescu
Moderated by Vít Havránek
Questions posed: What are ways in which we can provoke or encourage one another to re-energize the EERE network structure while also “re-thinking” how to expand our international partnerships? How would different models impact the expansion of Art in General’s international programming into other regions/countries? How does the EERE program reflect the shifting nature of artistic, social, and political contexts in which it operates? What are new models that EERE could grow into/out of? How do we look forward?
What Now? March 5, 2012
PUBLIC PROGRAM SCHEDULE
From Site of Production to Think-Tank (The Role of the Artist Residency)
Lisa Rosendahl and Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria
Moderated by Livia Paldi
Questions posed: How have the more “traditional” models of residencies been changing to reflect the shifting nature of artistic practice, and what kinds of new structures or strategies are being brought into play? Discuss the notion of an institution as a broker between parties, the model of a residency without a physical site or base, and the format of the residency as a point of connection rather than a means of production. How has the residency model evolved into the notion of a “think tank,” an opportunity for free thinking and independent work? Discuss new ways of moving forward that address the relationship between production and research. To what degree can/should an artist’s ‘residency’ be a catalyst for change, or create a space in which change can take place? Discuss how curatorial practice can create a platform for the presentation and documentation of artists’ ongoing engagement with social and political change.
Curatorial Authorship (The Role of the Curator in the Residency)
Kari Conte and Virginija Januskeviciute
Moderated by Krist Gruijthuijsen
Questions posed: What is the role of the curatorial in a residency program? How does the role of the curator shift when his/her role is actively transposed to the thought/research process alongside or instead of production and execution? How can one ‘curate’ collaborative models of working? Discuss the prevalence of artists’ residency models vs. similar models for curators and what could be learned from examining the various methodologies employed by each in terms of possible models moving forward.
New Approaches to International Mobility and Collaboration (The Role of Networks)
Galit Eilat and Vít Havránek
Questions posed: How can collaboration through networks act as a catalyst for research, production, and social engagement/intervention within a critical framework? Discuss the notion of institutional networks, modes of international collaboration and the role that co-commissioning plays. How might the idea of an “expanded notion of a residency” work within this context? Address the question of how artists working in fraught socio-political climates or whose work subjects them to adverse risk or censorship in their home countries benefit from the residency model and/or institutional collaboration? Discuss issues of mobility and the role of residencies as key facilitators of cultural exchange for artists working in spaces of conflict.
Above: Internal Program photo by Jon Rider; Public Program photos by Steven Probert. Images courtesy artists and Art in General
General support of Art in General is provided by General Tools & Instruments LLC; the Lambent Fund of the Tides Foundation; Abraham and Lillian Rosenberg Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Enoch Foundation; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; Ralph E. Ogden Foundation; ConEdison; The Greenwich Collection; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; and by individuals.
The Eastern European Residency Exchange Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.