On February 5, Monday, at 5.30 PM Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts will host a presentation of its 8th Log, titled “On Newness”, and a discussion of residencies at the VAA Doctoral Studies Department, Room 102 (Malūnų Str. 3, building C1).
As the year 2018 has rolled over to its 2nd month and ceased being new, VAA Nida Art Colony invites the public to reflect on the newness of residencies. A pretext for a discussion of this issue is not only the Colony’s newest Log dedicated to the topic, but also the new residency programmes emerging in Lithuania every year. What motivates the initiation and running of these institutional practices, and what makes such creative/working settings attractive to artists, scientists, and researchers? What kinds of value do they create? What defines the concept of residency in today’s volatile living conditions?
The Res Artis network of artist residencies provides the following definition of residencies on its website: “Residency centres invite artists, academics, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow individuals to explore his/her practice in the framework of another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location.” The category of newness and renewal, seemingly programmed in residencies, calls for questioning and consideration of what exactly is the “new” that residency programmes offer. What kind of expertise gap separates a new residency from an established and internationally recognized one?
Symbolically continuing the tradition of the Nida Artists’ Colony, established on the Curonian Spit back in the 19th century, the present-day seaside branch of Vilnius Academy of Arts suggests a chronological discussion of the phenomenon of residencies, tracing their development from the most longstanding to the newly emerging. The invited directors and representatives of geographically scattered residencies, artists, and members of the audience who might have never spent time in a residency yet will all have a chance to share their practices, experiences, and expectations.
Audronis Imbrasas, culture manager (formerly head of the Arts Printing House in Vilnius), member of Vilnius City Council
Justė Jonutytė, head of Rupert Centre for Art and Education
Eglė Ambrasaitė, curator of Aikas Žado Laboratory and Residencyoyo at Žeimiai Manor House
Rūta Stepanovaitė, head of Kaunas Artists’ House
Vytautas Michelkevičius / Rasa Antanavičiūtė, heads of VAA Nida Art Colony
Emilija Škarnulytė, artist
After the discussion Matas Aerobica will DJ around the concept of his emerging new residency in Vilnius District.
About the Log.
Seeking to present and reflect on the broader processes of the cultural field in addition to its own events, exhibitions, and residents’ work, Nida Art Colony has put together and published its 8th Log to date. Dedicated to a different topic in every issue, this time the publication focuses on newness.
Covering the Colony’s activity between September 2015 and April 2017, the curated Log “On Newness” aims to reflect this period’s major events and the new ideas that accompanied them. The topic of newness has lingered in the air throughout the span of this year and a half. It accompanied the joyous opening of the Colony’s new building in the end of 2015, the official launch of a new academic department – the Nida Doctoral School, and the monthly greeting of ever new arriving artists-in-residence.
The issue comes complete with texts written, adapted, or translated exclusively for this publication, including an interview with the architect Tomas Grunskis on the expiry date of architecture and excerpts from Towards a Lexicon of Usership by the writer Stephen Wright. The sociologist Liutauras Kraniauskas approaches contemporary art processes as peculiar rituals and spells. The curator and researcher Ulrike Jordan revisits the mid-1960s artist placements in the public sector. The magazine features a lot of looking at one’s reflection in the mirror, thinking about the way contemporary art itself is changing in the context of these exhibitions, artistic practices, and production of objects. The art critic Karolina Rybačiauskaitė ponders how it gets lost in definitions and chronological frames, confirming the relative nature of newness.
The 192-page publication is illustrated with visual documentation of the Colony’s exhibitions and photographs of the works produced by the residents. The cover image, picturing the synthetic entities seemingly frozen for the future by the artist duo Pakui Hardware in the “Hybrid(…)scapes” exhibition, enfolds and congeals the newness discussed inside the magazine.
Editor: Jogintė Bučinskaitė
Designer: Tadas Karpavičius
Translators: Jurij Dobriakov, Kipras Šumskas
Lithuanian copy-editor: Karolina Bagdonė