Rezidenca za umetnike na počivanju in ekološko vrtnarjenje
Pred dobrim letom je po e-pošti do mene prišel nenavadni razpis Residency for Artist on Hiatus (RFAOH) s pripisom, naj se vsekakor prijavim. Razpis je vabil umetnike na rezidenco za nekaj mesecev, največ za eno leto pod pogojem, da v tem času ne bodo delali kot umetniki.
Ob prijavi je bilo potrebno navesti, zakaj želiš začasno prekiniti umetniško ustvarjanje, kako boš porabil tako pridobljeni prosti čas in se odločiti za neko vrsto poročanja o svoji dejavnosti v času RFAOH rezidence, ko sicer ostaneš v svojem kraju in si z organizatorji in drugimi rezidenti povezan samo preko spletne strani:http://residencyforartistsonhiatus.org/
Tu objavljaš svoja poročila in lahko komentiraš ostala. Obvezati si se moral, da karkoli boš v času rezidence počel, ne boš nikoli uporabil pri svojem umetniškem delu ali proglasil za umetniško delo. Za vsak mesec rezidence je bilo obljubljeno plačilo 30 kanadskih dolarjev.
Po krajšem razmisleku sem se res prijavila na rezidenco za eno leto z željo, da v tem času na domačem vrtu izpopolnim ekološki zelenjavni vrt in o tem enkrat mesečno napišem kratko poročilo. Na moje presenečenje sem bila sprejeta. Izkazalo se je, da sta si rezidenco kot svoj umetniški projekt zamislila dva umetnika Japonka Shinobu Akimoto in Kanadčan Matthew Evans. Pripravila sta internetni razpis in spletno stran. Izmed več kot trideset prijav s celega sveta sta izbrala šest med seboj zelo različnih umetnikov. Prva RFAOH rezidenca se je začela 1. oktobra 2013 in zaključila 30. septembra 2014. Rezidenca za novo skupino udeležencev se prične 1. novembra 2014.
MEDITIRANJE, VOZNIŠKI IN SPREJEMNI IZPIT, PROSTOČASNE DEJAVNOSTI, RAZMIŠLJANJE O DEPRESIJI IN VRTNARJENJE
Vsak rezident je na svoj način izkoristil rezidenco: Skupina MomenTech iz New Yorka si je vzela čas za meditiranje, Farid Rakun iz Indonezije za poučevanje, mlada Egipčanka Batool Mohammed je opravila vozniški izpit in sprejemni izpit za nadaljevanje podiplomskega študija, Karen Zalamea iz Vancouvra nam je pošiljala čudovite fotografije prostočasnih dejavnosti in Danka Honey Biba Beckelee razmišljanje o depresiji. Nekateri so rezidenco zaključili predčasno, ker so dobili dragoceno vabilo za umetniško delo oziroma niso zmogli vztrajati v umetniški nedejavnosti.
Zame je bila to prva resnična vključenost v globalni svet sodobne umetnosti, čeprav sem pred tem že sodelovala na pomembnih mednarodnih prizoriščih (Štajerska jesen - Graz, Manifesta7- Bolzano). Izkušnja je navdušujoča. Na eni strani sem bila celo leto razbremenjena dogovarjanja za realizacijo umetniških projektov (razpisi, prireditveni prostor, kritje stroškov,..) in vendar bila vklučena v umetniški svet in tudi širši mednarodni prostor preko avtorjev rezidence in preko poročil. Na drugi strani sem imela na razpolago ves čas, da se resnično lahko poglobim v ekološko vrtnarjenje. Res pa je, da sem to leto fizično garala na vrtu več kot kdajkoli doslej. Zato je ta internetna rezidenca zame izpadla fizično nadvse naporno. To je tudi razlog, da sem se manj kot avtorja rezidence in ostali rezidenti spraševala o položaju umetnika, čigar delo se ne prilega običajnim normam umetniškega sistema, o pomenu sodobne umetnosti,... temveč sem se soočala s problemom zdravega prehranjevanja v prenaseljenem in onesnaženem svetu.
Nekaj misli iz mojega zaključnega poročila:
|Šopek, avgust 2014|
Nekaj misli iz mojega zaključnega poročila:
»Predvsem sodelovanje na RFAOH v luči današnjega običajnega zahodnega življenja čutim kot največje razkošje in privilegij, ker sem imela možnost vzgajati lastno ekološko zelenjavo, jo kuhati in pojesti svežo vsak dan. Imela sem redko možnost porabiti svoj čas za prehranjevane na najboljši možni način. Zdi se, da je to danes možno samo v zelo primitivnih družbah in v umetnosti. Mišljenje, da lahko gremo nazaj in pridelujemo zdravo ekološko hrano za vse ljudi je velika romantična utopija. Samo zelo bogati ljudje lahko kupujejo striktno ekološko hrano in samo zdrav lastnik dobre zemlje jo z veliko časa in dela v dobrih klimatskih razmerah in čistem zraku lahko pridela dovolj zase in za družino."
ZAKLJUČNE BESEDE O UMETNOSTI
Zame osebno je umetnost odkrivanje neznanega – raziskovanje življenja. Moje umetniško delo čutim kot umetnost takrat, ko uspem narediti nekaj več - nekaj, kar nisem nikoli pričakovala, da bom naredila (nekaj, kar me presega). Mislim, da je za umetnika pomembno, da dela z odprtim srcem tisto, kar čuti za dobro in nujno. To je vse. Pri tem za realizacijo lahko uporablja umetniški sistem ali pa ne. Za samo umetnost to ni bistveno. Čeprav je umetniški sistem vedno v službi ideologije. O tem je bolje ne izgubljati besed. Na splošno umetnost reflektira dobo in odstira prihodnost. Čas nam pokaže, kaj je dobra umetnost, kaj je slaba oziroma kaj ni umetnost.«
RESIDENCY FOR ARTISTS NOT MAKING ART – SO WHICH PART IS ART?
Residency for artists on holiday and permaculture gardening
Residency for artists on holiday and permaculture gardening
About a year ago, I received an email containing an unusual call for applications titled Residency for Artist on Hiatus (RFAOH) with a postscript encouraging me to definitively apply. Artists were invited to the residency for several months but not more than a year providing they did not work as artists during that time.
To complete the application procedure, the artist had to explain the reason for the temporary gap in the artistic creation, the use of the newly obtained free time and had to decide for a form of reporting about the non-artistic activity taking place during the RFAOH residency. Being a member of RFAOH residency meant that the artist did not change his location but was instead connected to organisers and other artists in the residency via the web page: http://residencyforartistsonhiatus.org/. The web page is a place for artist’s reports and comments. The artist was bind not to use anything done during the time of residency as the work of art or to proclaim it as such. For every month spent at the residency the artist would receive a payment of 30CAD.
After a short consideration I applied for a year at the residency wanting to improve the permaculture vegetable garden at home and decided to send monthly reports about it. To my surprise I was accepted. It turned out that the residency was an art project of two artists, namely Japanese Shinobu Akimoto and Canadian Matthew Evans. They prepared an internet call for applications and the web page. Six very different artists from all over the world were chosen among more than thirty who applied. The first RFAOH residency started on 1st October 2013 and ended on 30th September 2014. Residency for the new group will start on 1st November 2014.
MEDITATION, DRIVING LICENCE AND ENTRANCE EXAM, FREE TIME ACTIVITIES, THINKING ABOUT DEPRESSION AND GARDENING
Each resident spent the time during the residency in a different way: the MomenTech group from New York took time to meditate, Farid Rakun from Indonesia Indonezije had teaching lessons, young Egyptian Batool Mohammed obtained her driving licence and passed her entrance exam for further postgraduate studies, Karen Zalamea from Vancouver sent beautiful photographs of her free time activities and Danish Honey Biba Beckelee reported her thoughts on depression. Some of the participants ended their term before time because they got a special invitation for work of art or could no longer endure not to make art.
This was the first time that I was really included into the global word of contemporary art although I have so far participated in important international events (Steirischerherbst – Graz, Manifesta7 – Bolzano). The experience is inspiring. On the one hand, I was free from constant making of arrangements for realization of artistic projects (call for applications, performance rooms, expenses etc.) for a year and yet I was a part of the art world. Furthermore, the authors of the residency and the reports enabled me to be in the midst of the wide international art scene. On the other hand, I had all the time I wanted to focus on permaculture gardening. It is true, however, that I had to do a lot more of hard work in the garden than ever before. Consequently, this internet residency was physically quite strenuous for me. This also explains why I thought much less than the authors of the residence and other artists about the situation of the artist whose work does not conform to the rules of the art system, about the meaning of contemporary art etc. Instead, I was faced with the problem of healthy food in the overcrowded and polluted world.
Here are some thoughts from my final report:
“The participation in RFAOH residency offered me, especially in the light of nowadays western way of life, the greatest luxury and privilege to grow my own organic vegetable, to cook it and eat it fresh every day. I had the rare opportunity to spend my time for eating healthy in the best possible way. It seems to me that healthy food is a reality only in very primitive societies and in art. Thinking that we can go back to growing healthy organic food for all people is nothing but a mere romantic illusion. Only very rich people can afford to buy purely organic food and only a healthy owner of a fertile soil is able to grow enough food for his needs in good weather conditions and clean air."
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ABOUT ART
Art is, for me personally, the discovering of the unknown – the discovering of the life itself. I perceive my artistic work as art when I manage to do something more – something I never expected to do (something which surpasses me). In short, it is my firm belief that artists should openheartedly do what they feel is good and necessary. They may or may not use the art system while making art, but for the art itself this is not significant. Although, of course, the art system is always a subject to ideology and one should not ponder over this too much. Generally speaking, art reflects our era and reveals the future. However, in the end, it is time which distinguishes between good art, bad art and that which is not art at all.”
translated by Sibil Guntar Vilfan
ČLANEK OBJAVLJEN V SPLETNI REVIJI AN
Now in its second year, the Residency for Artists on Hiatus seeks to free its participants from the pressures of the 'capital A art world' by providing space for artists to not make art. Michaela Nettell finds out more.
“For me, personally, this is my artistic survival.” Shinobu Akimoto is a Japanese visual artist based in Montreal. She is also co-director of Residency for Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH), an online residency in which participants are invited to spend between six and 12 months not making art.
Akimoto founded the project with fellow artist Matthew Evans to explore alternative contexts for artistic activity; to question the role and value of what they see as an increasingly institutionalised art world; and to confront their own disillusion and disconnection from the mainstream art scene.
“In my case I was travelling between Japan and Canada so I never belonged to a single art community,” explains Evans. “I was looking for a way to meet other artists and make work with them in an open-ended way.”
In the project’s inaugural year, six participants were selected from an open call, a disparate and geographically distributed group including Slovenian Milena Kosec, who graduated in 1974 with a degree in technical mathematics and has since established a “non-institutional art space” in her vegetable garden; and MomenTech, a young, multimedia collective in New York.
The participants spent their time not making art in diverse ways – from permaculture gardening (Kosec), daily meditation (MomenTech), to gaining a driver’s license (Egyptian design graduate Batool Mohammed) – but forged surprisingly close bonds during their shared time out.
“Although the residency is only on the Net, we’ve somehow made very personal connections among each other,” says Kosec, who, having embarked on a full 12-month break from her art practice, is still on hiatus. “I was sorry when the others finished.”
“I’ve collaborated with people a couple of times before,” agrees Akimoto, “but to have these people coming to the project from all over the world, not really knowing who they are but feeling so close to them, to me it’s amazing!”
Expanded and enriched
As directors, Akimoto and Evans maintain the project website, publish participants’ periodic reports, promote the residency through social media and at art events (including the Venice Biennale in 2013), and design and sell multiples with the RFAOH logo. Their own practices are expanded and enriched by this exploration of alternative modes of production.
“A lot of people had trouble understanding it at the beginning,” says Akimoto, “they would ask: ‘A residency for people who aren’t making art – so which part is the art?’ But what do you do, if you can’t create work that fits the institutional formula any more, if you’re not accepted into galleries and you still want to live as an artist?”
The pair find themselves in an ambivalent position in relation to the art establishment. While the project seeks to free participants from the pressures of the “capital A art world”, it intentionally borrows from the bodies it sets out to critique – lifting selection criteria from the Canada Council’s grants program for example.
Initially, Akimoto and Evans looked to established galleries and institutions for support – to reify their work and to amplify this paradox. But now, after the success of the first residencies, with interest growing from like-minded individuals and organisations across the world, and with their second call for applications reaching almost 9,000 people in its first fortnight online, this kind of ‘official’ endorsement is beginning to feel less important.
“There’s this institutional structure and as artists you want to participate in it,” reasons Evans, “but maybe simply in making things you belong to it because you have a group of peers who are also involved. The art world exists beyond the visible spaces of these institutions, it exists within the community you’re working in.”
By virtue then of a somewhat absurd logic (and Evans is “a big fan of nonsense”), their virtual residency for non-art is succeeding in creating a very real community of committed and critical practitioners, within which he and Akimbo feel able to sustain their own art activity.
“I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with the art world,” says Akimoto. “I’m a huge fan of certain big-name artists and I love work that is institutionally sanctioned, but I am also a bit tired of ‘art people’ and I hate the gatekeeping. This project is one of the answers – otherwise I would have quit a long time ago!”
The application deadline for the latest call for participants is 15 September 2014.