11th Res Artis general meeting and Conference
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Over 15th years of its creation, Res Artis has been able to accomplish its commitment to continue providing a network platform and forum for its members, mostly coming from various art and residency centres all over the world. As the largest network of artist residency centres and programmes, Res Artis based in the Netherlands since 2003, has been acting as the major international network representing artists in residence centres and programmes worldwide.
This year, in conjunction with the 5th anniversary of its formal registration in the Netherlands, Res Artis, hosted the 11th General Meeting from 9th to 11th October in Amsterdam. This meeting brought together more than 100 art centres and residencies representatives worldwide, offering them a unique platform of exchange and networking opportunities. Aiming at facilitating the inter-cultural dialogue among its members and fostering inter-regional partnership, the meeting served as Res Artis business meeting in order to elect new board members and to give the members an overview report of Res Artis activities. The theme of ‘Artist in Dialogue, Transforming Communities”, linked the conference in a stimulating way to the mobility of artists and residency issues and to Res Artis’ own diversifications goals.
The meeting was officially opened by Ronald Plasterk, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, whose speech emphasized the importance of international exchange, artist mobility and government support in this case. The conference offered lectures by renowned specialists in the field of cultural dialogue, best practice presentations, workshops by residency experts and many informal networking opportunities. The programme highlighted several exemplary projects developed by smaller grass roots organizations linked to social, cultural and political contexts.
Three acclaimed key note speakers, Goran Stefanovski (dramatist and playwright), Nora Naranjo-Morse (a Tewa Pueblo Indian sculptor, writer and video producer) and Koulsy Lamko (poet, playwright, novelist, scriptwriter from Chad) were invited to share their personal experiences related to their artistic and creative process.
Business Meeting and Res Artis 2009 meeting in Korea
As the largest network gathering art and residency art spaces, the Res Artis has been transforming gradually from an all-volunteer organisation with a small membership to an organisation with legal foundation status which has an office, with a board of directors and a part time staff based in Amsterdam.
During this business meeting, the Res Artis members confirmed the election of new members of Res Artis board who replaced three stepping down board members. As part of its goal to involve the new generation of Res Artis leadership, Xinxin Guo from Beijing Studio Center (China), Todd Lester from FreeDimensional (USA); and Sithabile Mlotshwa, Thamgidi Studio Foundation (the Netherlands), will share responsibilities and tasks of the organization.
“I find it a great opportunity to be able to contribute to an organization that promotes inclusivity, openness, respect, exchange and mobility.” Sithabile Mlotshwa expressed during her nomination. On the other hand, Xinxin expressed her wish to connect China with other countries.
“China is a new land for art residency programme and Chinese art scene is booming recently. The Beijing Studio Center is one of the biggest residency programmes run by Chinese people. I believe that we need to know more about outside world and vice versa.” she added. When asked whether she could represent not only China but also other countries in Asia, she enthusiastically expressed her eagerness to discover more other Asian art residencies and tried to promote them at the same time.
As part of Res Artis goal to diversify and enlarge its membership, Res Artis has tied-up a partnership with Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) located in Ansan City, South Korea to co-organise Res Artis meeting planned to be held in October 2009. “This event will also mark the official opening of the new MoMa.” explained Dr. Kim Hong-hee, Director of the future MoMa who were specially invited to present the 2009 meeting proposal.
Since its creation, it will be the first time for Res Artis to land in Asia. “By holding a meeting in Korea, we wish to get much more Asian members attending this meeting.” said Maria Tuerling, former president of Res Artis who has recently been replaced by Mario A. Caro (board of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, USA).
Azizah Fauziah is the former cultural coordinator of the Centre Culturel Francais in Jakarta. She has worked with the Asia Europe Foundation as project officer in the Cultural Exchange Department. She currently lives and works in Marseille, France.
Iza_asnawi (at) yahoo.fr