The AWAY laboratory – the discursive programme of the project – was made up of three think tanks and several public events of the symposium with the aim of engaging experts from the fields of art, culture, science and policy-making in intensive exchanges in the think tanks, exploring the topic from their specific perspectives, jointly addressing key issues and generating know-how for optimizing international residency programmes for the future.
The symposium included talks, workshops and discussions in which representatives of international artist residencies, scientists and cultural policy-makers outlined and highlighted the state of the art of residencies abroad and encouraged a public exchange of experiences and opinions. The laboratory was designed and realized in cooperation with Katja Stecher.
AWAY derives its complexity from the three different areas covered: While the exhibition presents the achievements of artists during recent residencies and the destinations cover the places, frameworks and features which the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers to Austrian artists in its international residency programme, the laboratory with its theoretical approach wishes to explore the design of comparable programmes elsewhere, existing experiences, identifiable potentials for development and the direction which the development of this promotional instrument could take in future.read less
The core task of think tanks is to consider certain problems and issues and to develop proposals for solutions and actions to be implemented in practice. AWAY – a project around residences also pursued this approach in meetings organised in the run-up. The focus was on exploring the institutional fabric of this previously under-researched practice area as well as the perspectives of the artists themselves together with players of the art scene. The results of the three AWAY think tanks was presented in the exhibition and were made to make a significant contribution to the future of residency programmes.read more
Residency programmes have already become an apparently natural key element of the international art scene so that neither their origins nor their future development is challenged and called into question. Manifold schemes open up a world of opportunities and evoke a picture of placeless, nomadic artists who have to leave their home environment to be creative. But how do these programmes actually structure artistic living and working practices and which problems are linked with this pressure to be mobile?
It may be surprising that, in spite of the evident international boom in studio grants and residency programmes, there are hardly any scientific studies on this practice area. Against this background, AWAY – a project around residencies provided a platform for a critical discourse that reviewed the logics of this institutional fabric as well as the objectives of diverse grants and programmes. The think tanks explored these key issues from different perspectives and, together with experts of the art scene, considered structures, models and approaches which seemed to make sense in the future.read less
In accordance with its title “Learning from each other“, this symposium organised in the context of AWAY – a project around residencies reflects the intention of attaining closer international exchange through intensive networking with experts in the fields of art and cultural policy, in this way generating knowledge that may have a lasting effect on future residence programmes.
Residence programmes have established themselves as an element of the international art scene that is so central and apparently integral and self-evident that its origin is usually as little analysed as its future development. In fact, they reflect a historical concept with a long tradition that found its beginnings with secondment practices at European courts and has been experiencing a revival since the 1990s. To this day, a great variety of heterogeneous models and offerings – all of them covered by the same umbrella term – has evolved around the world. Moreover, it should be considered that not only the field of politics and its frame conditions, but also the context in which such programmes are embedded have changed radically over the past three decades or so.read more
Seen against this background, the AWAY laboratory viewed itself as a platform for a critical discourse that directed its analysis at the logics and structural conditions of this complex area as well as at the focuses and objectives of various scholarships and programmes. Another central issue of the discussion pertained to the question of which models and offerings should be chosen by individual carrier bodies in order to react to topical cultural and political challenges. A key approach lied in highlighting these central issues from different perspectives in order to collectively identify structures, models and methods that seemed effective for the future. A multifaceted programme made up of workshops, lectures and talks was to generate important impulses and new knowledge, in this way making an essential contribution towards self-reflective practice.
Erich Berger (artist), Claudia Büttner (art historian), Juraj Čarný (curator), Susan Hapgood (executive director ISCP New York), Friedemann Heckel (curator), Stefanie Hessler (curator TBA 21 Academy), Katrin Hornek (artist), Marko Lulic (artist), Thomas Macho (cultural scientist), Kai Maier-Rothe (artist), Vera Mey (curator), Bernd Milla (director Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg), Wolfgang Müller-Funk (cultural scientist), Nicola Müllerschön (head of arts and culture department, KfW Stiftung Frankfurt), Jörn Schafaff (art historian), Andreas Spiegl (media theorist), Sofie Thorsen (artist), Sabine B. Vogel (art critic), representatives of Austrian and international residence programmes.
# The romance of the atelier will probably disappear in time
# Which residency and why?
# Real / imagined spaces
# Curators as Nomads and Networkers?
# Which terms and functions need to be re-defined?
# Artist Residencies – from an artistic point of view
# From Landscape to Laboratory
# Theories of strangeness
# Working in the global art world
# Visions – Desires – Changes
Our list of literature on the topics of artists in residence, artists' studio, artistic work, the theoretical as well as exemplary as well as a selection of publications of our discussion participants: