Artist-in-residence programs offer artists temporary space and time away from their usual surroundings and obligations. They can be places of critical thinking and artistic experimentation.
Residency programs play an important role in the international careers of artists: They provide access to networks and new forums, and foster exchanges between local art scenes, artists and international audiences. They therefore occupy a key position within the mobility infrastructure
As an artists' association, the IGBK perceives residencies as important structures that afford artists individual mobility and exchange with local art scenes and environments, both nationally and internationally. They often allow artists to continue their work, especially in times of crisis, and can provide a safe space in which to confront one's own identity, origins, etc.
onAIRISM and networking meetings
The IGBK has been involved in artist-in-residence programs for visual artists in various ways in its capacity as an artists' association over the past few years. As part of the projects onAIRISM - challenges and transitions and onAIRISM - interaction and connectivity in 2021 and 2022, artist residencies and their networking were discussed extensively with stakeholders. The geographical focus was on individual countries in the Global South, the Americas, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Digital workshops and symposia brought together residency operators, and stakeholders reported on their work and current challenges.
Last year, in response to the war of aggression against Ukraine, we also organized networking meetings for regional artists' organisations, artists' residencies and project spaces committed to supporting artists coming to Germany from Ukraine.
Against the backdrop of these activities, the importance of an (inter)regional network of artist residency programs emerged clearly for both operators and artists.
What are our plans for 2023?
In the first half of the year, we will continue our commitment with a focus on residency programs in Germany. To this end, we will be mapping residencies and artists' houses ("Künstlerhäuser") in the field of visual arts in Germany and compilating a body of information in English on the IGBK website to help visual artists from abroad and from Germany to familiarize themselves with the wide range of programs available in Germany.
For the conception and realization of this project, we are in exchange with the organizations ResArtis and Transartists, which provide information on residencies all over the world, as well as with the organization Artists At Risk and with the Goethe-Institut in Munich and throgh that with the Arbeitskreis Deutscher Internationaler Residenzprogramme (ADIR - Working Group of German International Residence Programmes).
This year, we are organizing networking meetings to which we plan to invite various stakeholders to discuss questions regarding possible future (inter)regional networking and other cooperative structures in order to create a nationwide map of artist residencies in Germany that includes not only large institutions but also smaller programs and structures.
Through these actions, the IGBK hopes to stimulate the (inter)regional networking of residency programs in Germany that are active in the field of visual arts. The networking meetings will initially serve to take stock of the current situation and invite operators to discuss this topic.