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Seminar 2 // Resident Good, Resident Evil, Resident Confusion?

Seminar Series // Resident Good, Resident Evil, Resident Confusion?

Developing critical perspectives on the Great Contemporary Art Residency Complex


Seminar 2: Being an artist: when does the work stop?

This meeting will use Roland Barthes’s The Writer on Holiday (in Mythologies, New York: Noonday Press, 1972, pp 29-31) a starting point for exploring the idea of the artist as (in Barthes’s words) a “professional of inspiration”. It will test the proposition that many residencies have an ambiguous status, seeming to offer the possibility of both “time out” and “intensive working”: the professional of inspiration is never off duty! This mythology receives a scathing critique from Barthes, but is his attack relevant or justified?

In this seminar, Rachel will look at ideas about artistic creativity in relation to the frameworks of residencies. There will be lots of scope for participants to review their creative histories and articulate the working patterns they personally find most productive. There is also space to discuss the problems that beset creative practitioners, such as feeling blocked, superfluous or burnt out, and to share solutions.

This seminar series is part of PRAKSIS’s fourteenth residency Now that’s what I call an artist’s residency!. It sets out to anatomise the diverse range of phenomena that come under the title, “artist’s residency”. It proposes that, by asking questions about artist’s residencies, we can expose and probe many of the foundational questions, problems and contradictions that both bedevil and enable present-day artmaking.  

We will almost certainly not arrive at definitive answers to the issues we encounter. However, by placing the theories and practices of artists’ residencies on the bigger, global contemporary art map, we can potentially make more informed decisions about where we wish to place ourselves, and our own practices, on that map – and devise strategies for getting there.

This seminar series is designed to be of interest to anyone presently working in, or thinking critically about, the institutions of contemporary art. Everyone is welcome and free discussion is warmly invited.

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