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Seminar 5 // Resident Good, Resident Evil, Resident Confusion?




Seminar 5: The Frequent Flier and the Social Network

When it comes to residencies, who gets to play, and who can only watch from the sidelines? What factors exclude artists from involvement in residencies? In this meeting Rachel will ask if residencies are complicit in the rise of a special, “frequent flier” class of visible participant artists – reinforcing their privileges through networking, and continuing the long and problematic tradition of the would-be anti-elitist artist-experimenter who is firmly a member of an elite.

Counter to this, she will look at the ways residencies provide indispensible lifelines for individual artists, supporting collective action, building opportunities, enabing artists to refine and enrich their practices, to discover new audiences and to engage more effectively with different communities.

Language is clearly a factor in enabling residency participation and communication. What language(s) do residencies speak? This session will include some discussion of Globish, the simplified form of English that some commentators view as a kind of cultural imperialism, and others as a new language that privileges non-native speakers of English.

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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