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Escape and Engagement
Residencies as Hosts, Producers and Promoters

October 2-5, 2014 in Vilnius and Nida, Lithuania

Residencies are among the few places left where artists can escape the pressures of the market, devote time to themselves, engage the other and sally forth for research and experiments that do not happen in their daily studio practice. Although the phenomenon of artistic residencies started more than one hundred and fifty years ago with an aim to escape the routine, the facet of escape is still one of the most important raison d`être for residencies. The location (remoteness and exoticism), travelling, and hospitality are therefore the focus of discussion on the present and the future of residencies. What does it mean nowadays to be physically and mentally remote? What are advantages and disadvantages of residencies located in naturally, politically or socially exotic places? How close are such residencies to cultural tourism hubs?

However, residencies are temporary escapes. After a while residents have to return home. What do they bring from a residency? Is it a completed work of art, a piece of writing to be published, or a sketch, an idea, an experience, a discovery, a failure? Do we have tools to measure the results? Can we call them artistic production? Is an exhibition, a performance, or a concert the expected outcome?

More so, residencies are no longer about artists alone. They increasingly engage in artistic, social, or political life. Which position does a contemporary residency take or strive for: that of an agent, an educator, a research centre, a promoter, a facilitator of artistic research and processes, an art hotel, a social activist, a creative industries incubator, or a catalyst of contemporary art phenomena? Should residencies engage into or stay away from the fashionable cultural policy trends? There is more than one answer and the understanding of the role of residencies changes over time. This Res Artis meeting will encourage experienced and emerging residency operators to look for most relevant answers to the above questions and for a new meaning of the old phenomenon.

Main Topics:     

REMOTENESS – escape, exotic location, cultural tourism, hospitality.

RESIDENCIES’ ROLE – level of engagement in the resident’s life, in the local community, in the art world, in the education and (artistic) research community; reputation and influence, models and ethics of host-guest or curator-artist relationship, diversity of artistic production or residency results, evaluation of results.

Next to the above this Res Artis Regional Meeting will:

– Expose a rather unknown region – former Soviet Union – to its Nordic partners and participants from other parts of the world;
– Provide learning opportunities for emerging residencies and discussion opportunities to experienced residency operators;
– Offer more time to interactive exchange and less time to panel presentations.

Target groups:

The meeting is open to Res Artis members and non-members, i.e. present and potential residency operators from:

–          Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
–          Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan)
–          Eastern partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine)
–          Nordic countries (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden)
–          Russian Federation

The acceptance of registration will be prioritised to representatives from the above-mentioned regions but is not exclusive to those.

Financial support is offered to selected participants from Central Asia, Eastern Partnership Countries and Russian Federation.

The Res Artis Regional Meeting Vilnius-Nida is organised by Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts in co-operation with Res Artis.

Hosted by: Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts


Download the Programme here.
Download the Official poster here.


The Res Artis Regional Meeting Vilnius-Nida was organised by Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, henceforth Nida Art Colony, in co-operation with Res Artis. The meeting was supported by the Vilnius Academy of Arts, the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Swiss Arts Council, and Netherland’s Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania.


After our last Regional Meeting in Vienna 2012 and our General Meeting in Tokyo in the same year, we are very happy to have been approached by our member VAA Nida Art Colony that is located a five hour bus drive outside of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to host our Regional Meeting 2014. The chosen focus on non-urban artist residency centers allowed us to look at the many other types of settings that can be a perfect fit for an artist residency to operate in with joy and success. Not at last, half of our membership is situated on the country site or in even more extreme remoteness.

To concentrate on the Northern Baltic, Russia and Central Asia surely challenged many participants to gain new and updated insights about the social and political reality of this part of the world. For a complete overview of the meeting, read the full meeting report here.

 Key speech Victor Misiano: “What resides in your trauma?”