ACTION 2. INNOVATION
Creative residencies, platforms and mentoring. Offering the possibility of carrying out an international professional residency with expert mentoring is an innovative way of carrying out the training of enterprising creative professionals and of fostering the idea among artists and the general public that international professional mobility is not only possible but highly desirable and enriching. The various partners bring to the table several prior experiences in the different modes of residency covered by the project, such as Professional residency in company, Residency as a user of a shop-workshop or Resident artists in contemporary art spaces.
#Artistresidency Katharina and József at Sputnik Oz
#Artistresidency Katharina and József at Sputnik Oz The German-Hungarian duo of artists Katharina Roters and József Szolnoki usually explore themes relating to social blind spots or taboos resulting from trauma. Their collaboration started out from a study of the objectified documents of transference between ideological and cultural spaces, and of transitional states. They make use of the widest possible variety of media, such as photography, video, performative elements or lectures. During the residency at Sputnik Oz (Bratislava), they worked in a project called “The Visegrád Syndrome”. The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrád Four or V4 comprises four Central European states (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and it is a cultural and political alliance that works towards military, cultural, economic and energy cooperation with the purpose of furthering their integration in the EU. Roters and Szolnoki focused on the Slovak‒Hungarian constellation. Hence the work developed within The Spur is “Vol. 1”. For their research, they looked for stereotypes relating to self-image and ‘other people’ within that context. This investigation comes from previous experiences. For instance, when Szolnoki played cards with his father as a child and spent too long thinking, his father would say: ‘Worrying’s not a game, a Slov’s not a person! ’. He did not understand at that time the meaning of this response. Later, he heard people say things such as ‘I can see through you like a Slov peeking through the fence’ or ‘why are you poking around like a Slov in a piss-covered pear? ’. As a Hungarian, he was not familiar with the Slovak stereotypes of them. During their residency in Bratislava, they researched and collected these stereotypes. For example, when a Slovak grandmother wants to warn her grandchild to behave properly, she says to him: ‘Ja ti dam VILÁGOS!’, which means ‘Watch out, or things will become CLEAR to you!’. The Hungarian word ‘Világos’ is used in the Slovak language as a code. Világos is the village where the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 formally ended and is a symbol of the lost fight for Hungarian independence. Therefore the meaning of Világos shifted over the decades to refer to something that is very bad. The artists have stated that 98% of Slovaks use this turn of phrase, but they do not know where it originates from. The word has been freed from its original sense and nowadays has its own meaning, being used as a threat. Roters and Szolnoki worked on a socio-linguistic interpretation that deals with post-communism, ideology and memory through everyday language. Due to the complexity of the project, the artists spent the two months residency researching and gathering data. As part of their research, they have worked on different maps that explore the territory and history of Hungary and Slovakia. One of the maps shows the territory of the former Greater Hungary on today´s borders. As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, the peace agreement of 1920 that formally ended World War I between Hungary on one side and the Allied Powers on the other, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was split up and Czechoslovakia was formed. The Kingdom of Hungary lost 2/3 of its territory and almost half of its population. It was not possible to talk about this trauma in the communist era. After the regime change in Hungary, however, the image of Greater Hungary became the central motif of nationalist pop culture. Another map shows Czechoslovakia and Hungary until 1993 and another one, Slovakia and Hungary from 1993. A fourth map is based on a fictitious map by Jan Slota, the co-founder and former president of the Slovak National Party, which showed the western part of Hungary added to Austria and the eastern part to Slovakia. According to this, Hungary ceased to exist. The visualisation of the research results will take shape as a photographic series that would be augmented with a museum learning element on both sides of the border between Slovakia and Hungary, ideally coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon, that is to say, in 2020.
#Artistresidency Nicolas Daubanes at Bòlit
#Artistresidency Nicolas Daubanes at Bòlit During his stay at Bòlit, Centre d’Art Contemporani. Girona, Nicolas Daubanes (1983, Perpignan) gave form to three proposals, which are based on his previous lines of research linked to prisons and penitentiary centres. This artist’s work deals with the question of living in a restrictive situation and how to react or offer solutions to it. A great deal of his time was spent developing his work in the search for aesthetic, conceptual and intellectual issues in prison environments by means of different activities such as interventions, ateliers, residencies or workshops, for example. In Girona, he researched three previous elements of his work to develop them more in-depth in the city. The first of these ideas is the issue of food, a notion that he had already explored in France. However, he quickly realised that the prison systems in France and Spain differed greatly. For instance, in France, prisoners are allowed to cook in the centre's facilities, while in Spain, they are not allowed to handle food. In parallel, he further developed a previous study that began in Montluc, a French prison in Lyon. This centre had been a military fort used in World War II. Daubanes reproduced its floor tiles in multiples silkscreens. At some point, the artist realised that the floor of Montluc Prison was the same as the one installed in "S-21", a secret interrogation, torture and execution centre created by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, where at least 12.000 people were tortured and killed during the 1970's. Both prisons had been paved by the same French company and both were places intended for torture, one in the 1940's and the other 30 years later. Daubanes installed a video that enters into dialogue with this issue during his open studio. The artist also continued a series of drawings that reproduces, by zooming in, parts of the imaginary prisons of Piranesi. Above all, these are fragments in which we distinguish characters, barely visible spectators arranged at different heights who seem to be witnessing the torture of the prisoners. These ‘spectators’ in Piranesi indicate directions, limit the composition of the drawings. Daubanes also adds characters and interprets this architecture of confinement almost autobiographically, he himself being a viewer of the prisons. They are not strictly copies of Piranesi's prints, but a reference the artist takes to apply to his own work. Finally, recovering the idea of food and alimentation, Daubanes took a documentary entitled "Imaginary feasts" as reference in order to propose an activity that would articulate his open studio event. It is a documentary directed by Anne Georget in 2015 about the recipes written by prisoners in concentration camps. In the Nazi camps, the Gulag and Japanese war camps, deportees wrote hundreds of recipes that were copied in small notebooks by starving human beings of all origins. They become objects of survival and a testimony of resistance. Previously, during his residency period within The Spur, Nicolas Daubanes decided to reproduce one of these imaginary recipes in a prison in Marseille. In the case of his residence in Girona, he proposed to a group of residents of the day centre of the city to visit the exhibitions at Bòlit and participate in a culinary workshop in the same space. It was not only an invitation to carry out an activity addressed to a group of people living in a restrictive situation, but through his gesture the artist moves his proposal into the field of reintegration. In other words, by obtaining an official authorization to carry out this activity, Daubanes talks about the relationship between reintegration and art, as well as its importance and possibilities. During his open studio, the artist and the residents of the day centre reproduced one of the recipes of "Festins imaginaires" and shared ideas and concepts about Nicolas Daubanes' work.
#Artistresidency Cristina Ferrández at Centre d’Art Le LAIT
#Artistresidency Cristina Ferrández at Centre d'art Le LAIT The artistic project Cristina Ferrández (Asturias, 1974) ran at Centre d'Art Le LAIT (Albi) is Prospective. This title responds to a titanic endeavour: the prospective of the new challenges faced by the humanity. Cristina's approach implies that Art and Culture can take part into this process as well. Her starting point are the lichen, as metaphor of symbiotic consortia, and their scientific, artistic and aesthetic possibilities as conceptual as material. Lichens represent a living example of Universal Symbiogeneis. The project revolves around three main concepts: 1. Lichens as a metaphor of a possible relationship and coexistence between humans and the biosphere Likens are symbiotic consortia of ascomycetes (the fungal part) with green algae or cyanobacteria in a mutually beneficial relationship. They are bioindicators or air quality and bioacumalotors. 2. The concept of symbiogenesis; its theoretical and philosophical implications Symbiogenesis is an evolutive theory promoted by the scientist Lynn Margulis. She opposed competition-oriented views of evolution, stressing the importance of symbiotic or cooperative relationships between species. Symbiogenesis can be universalized and can include hybridization, and extra-biological phenomena such as culture and language evolution and even certain cosmological processes (also symbiotic stars, galactic cannibalism or black holes can be understood as forms of symbiogenesis). In a visionary way, a new concept of progress and development, where humanity evolves by living with the biosphere in harmony, replacing the notion of domain. 3. Relationship between map and territory. Cartography as a method of depicting reality For example: diverse aspects of reality in relation to natural resources, as scientific and big data are turned into artistic concepts and eventually incorporated into the discourse. Cristina Ferrández has resorted to cartography associated with big data of the common goods, such as water, forest growth/loss, to deppict reality under different parameters. She uses the cartography of the city associated with a growth, on a specific ground , trying to create the simile of the growth of the liken on a matter and its neutral relation with it. The big data of the IAP, Air Purity Index from 2017 in Albi it is used as an indicator of liken growth, air is again a common good that have to be cared. In terms of time and future, all of this leads directly to the science of Foresight or Future Studies. As conclusion, I think during a research project in a specific place, the research itself it´s so important as highlighting the experiences encountered and the meetings with people. All of this has transform Cristina's time/space in Albi into some kind of permeable membrane where a bidirectional transmission has taken part, by deriving or contributing to the evolution of ideas and thoughts. She feel It is a symbiotic process. All the experiences and diverse knowledge, are being united by some kind of symbiogenesis of knowledge and thought.
#Artistresidency Miriam Hamann at Bureau des Arts
#Artistresidency Miriam Hamann at Bureau des Arts Miriam Hamann's (Wels, 1986) work, realized during her artist residency at Bureau des Arts et Territoires in Montpellier, focused on the sculptural quality of urban, industrial objects and their immaterial manifestations. Within the framework of the residency program that linked the artist with a local company called ID Scènes, Miriam Hamann developed a project directly referring to the industrial surroundings of the company. Thus the company and it's location became the starting point of the artist's research in which she reacted to different materials she was surrounded by. Materials that were used by the company's employees as well as forgotten materials that were not even noticed any more. Inspired by these materials and the technological equipping of the company, the artist realized a light installation using an old billboard that she found in the immediate vicinity of the company. Usually disregarded, the board got de-installed from its original place in order to be revived and transformed into something new. Analogous to its original function as an advertising, Miriam Hamann rebuilt the board, triggering some of the fluorescent tubes by digital devices in order to send a morse code message. The coded and sent phrase “Les lumières de la ville brillent encore” (“The lights of the city are still shining”), a quote from francophone writer t'Serstevens, refers to the board itself —something that seemed to be broken actually still works—but can also be seen as a reference to future changes of urban and technological structures. In addition to this work Miriam Hamann also started sculptural approaches towards building new forms and structures out of materials used for stage construction. After having been transformed, the board was remounted on the wall where it had been found, now flashing and repeating the coded message. Besides the realization of this site-specific light installation Miriam Hamann also worked on a three channel video and sound installation made out of packing material. This material the artist came across constantly during her stay in the company. Being inspired by the enormous amount of packing material, Hamann realized a triptych video installation showing different slightly changing images of bubble wrap together with the sound emerging of the use of the material itself.
#Artistresidency Lévana Schütz at Es Baluard
#Artistresidency Lévana Schütz at Es Baluard TWIN ROOM “On the other side of the wall, there is a room similar to mine. Where all the furniture is the same As the furniture in my room. Like the reflection of a mirror, everything is set on the opposite side. There, is living a clone of myself. Like a shadow, he is moving as I move, doing things as I do, and thinking as I think. If I am near the window, he stands like me in front of his window. If I am reading on the right recliner, he does the same on his left recliner. If I am near the entrance door, listening the people in the corridor, he is doing exactly the same in his room. Each step, each movement, each noise, Are the same as mine. He is my twin in a twin room and the echoes of his walk resounds to my ears like a rustle of a stranger not welcome. We both are frightened to go out, to discover the anonymous next door" Exhibition view from the Esbaluard Museum of modern and contemporary art of Palma de Mallorca “To Film and photograph to search a shape of truth, a reality that contemporary humans offer me, on my scale. Lost in the immensity of the world with innumerable borders, starting with those which delimit me from my neighbors, and thrust again by the equally innumerable quantity of anonymous, transparent because disappearing under the mass of the number”. Here is the interest toward Lévana Schütz (Paris, 1993) tends her goal. The outside, the out of individuality, the out of the other, question her work. During her residency at Palma de Mallorca with The Es Baluard Museu d’Art Moderni i Contemporani de Palma and Addaya, Centre d’Art Contemporani d’Alaró, she was experimenting with photography and video to find a way to create a mystification from non-place and common place. Starting her research with polaroid and dipositive photography, she was focusing her lens toward the industry of tourism of Mallorca and its sea. The images from the sea, large surface endless is nourished by the Three pleasure of imagination as, sublime, singularity and beauty. Nonetheless, walls, windows and shutters from Hotels offer many possibilities to rediscover the structure of this tiny environment as well as subject of imagination. Thus, she chose to photograph the interior of those spaces without the possibility to spread its look toward the horizon. In the Series of MONADA, she closes between eight Polaroids of interior space one with the horizon on the sea block by a roasting in first plane. MONADA, In another hand, she was focusing her camera to the dereferences facades of hotels buildings which was front of the sea. But she never tries to revel the sea on her images, its presence is more as a detail on the reflection of some windows or from the seal down the hotels. Investigative Black and White Dipositive photography, all around the island of Mallorca THE GRAY MAGIC ROOM “Stripped of all human presence, the walls of hotel rooms reveal in an imaginary story their magical personality. Everything seems to refer to the intimate space, yet here endangered by the sanitized nudity of spaces resulting from the commonality of massive tourism. The viewer is the protagonist and the hidden witness of the dialogue which these places offer us”. After discovering certain tourist place on the island, Lévana Schütz began to write and shoot scenes, as well as to create architectural drawings of the hotel rooms. All this fiction originated through this unique space that became her world, where the social environment, nature and the perception of time are questioned. Through the play of images, articulated, cut, unrolled on the time of the gaze, she wishes to pay homage to the absence of the human figure, to its inexorably temporary appearance in the space of the living. With the video and the photography, she is looking for a presence, from the former day, who penetrates the film of the camera and takes word. "And if everyone disappeared, to let’s exist just one human, duplicate a thousand time, as a clone in each similar room?" With this New fantasy, directly inspired by the places that she visited, she centered her filmic and photographic proposition around this idea of symmetry and twin. From here, she continues to search images where the architecture could propose her by its arrangement/ measure a symmetry and a repetition. Favor has this plan, she creates a device that allow her to build her movies and pursue her research for putting in space photography and drawings which she gleaned during her residency. TWIN ROOM, matt vinyl drawing on glass
#Artistresidency Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet at Bòlit
#Artistresidency Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet at Bòlit Throughout their practice Varvara Guljajeva (Tallin) and Mar Canet (Mollet del Vallès, 1981) —Varvara & Mar— have been researching and reflecting the data age of today. Especially they are interested in the virtual world effect on our society, labor culture, and social behavior. Internet is rapidly privatized, controlled, and money-driven. Their ongoing art project «Data Shop» reflect on the critical issues and regaining rights of personal data, which they continued during the residency at Bòlit, Centre d'Art Contemporani. Girona, within The Spur. «Data Shop» is a shop-like installation which speculates with the idea of having a shop that sells and at the same time stores personal data. The data market is growing exponentially, our data are collected, used, sold, stolen and constantly negotiated. With «Data Shop» Varvara & Mar also want to talk about the value of the data, a suggested research that seeks to make visible the popular Internet sale of personal data by the third parties, while opens to the discussion around the data transparency and how companies as Facebook, Twitter or Google use user’s information. During The Spur residency the artists expanded their product range and data collection, which can be also seen as an archive. In addition to Spam Data, Data Soup and Data Salat they developed new cans, like Data Cream, Data Sardines, and Data Beans. The first one is video material of theirself-surveillance during 24 hours. The second one is their data from Estonian ID-card, which is most of the information the state has, and the last one is Fitbit data. Furthermore, the art project has a social dimension developed with the idea of creating discourse through contemporary data body and its’ complexity. During the residency Varvara & Mar conducted «Data Shop» workshop, in which they mapped personal data with the participants. Everyone was encouraged to locate their own personal data, export it, save on a pen-drive and create his/her own data can. The activities were an essential part of their project. The developed workshops with the public, by conducting lectures and debates around the topics related with «Data Shop», were activities has revolved around the data transparency and the value of our personal data. How much do we value our privacy? Which information has more value for us? Is there a correlation between this and its real value? Varvara & Mar is a duo that locates itself in the field of art and technology and is concerned about the new form of art, innovation, and also the application of knitting in the field of art digital fabbrication. They use and challenge technology in order to explore novel concepts in art and design. Hence, the research they developed within The Spur is an integral part of their creative practice. In addition to kinetic and interactive installations, these artists have also experience with working in public space and with urban media.