Art in residence, 2010

PROJECT «ART in RESIDENCE. Tourism? Culture? Territorial Development?»

Solnechnogorsk - Moscow, June 14-17, 2010

Goethe-Institute in Moscow
Creative Industries Agency

Artist in residence (AR) is one of the historical organizational forms of creative process for painters, musicians, writers, etc.Several stages of the AR institution development are usually identified.

During the first decades of 20th century the AR institutions were organized “for the sake of art”. Their primary goal was to create new comfortable or special conditions for artists. The ARs were organized either by the artists themselves (for instance, Worpswede, Germany, 1884) or by the art patrons (as The Corporation of Yaddo, New York, 1900). With time the mission of “art patrons’ initiative” became wider – apart from cultural problems the AR became an instrument for society humanization (e.g. relationships of The AR Gregory Fellowships and The University of Leeds, 1951).

This social aspect of the AR became its central idea for the next period – in 1960s – 1980s ARs were focused on utopian communal separation from bourgeois values and establishment of their own societies (as the ARs and squatting in 1970s – 1990s).

On the other hand the major trend of the AR at the end of 20th century was integration of artists into local communities and separate social groups.

Globalization gave birth to a new wave of artists’ interest to distant countries and territories, hardly known to them before, and presented them with ample opportunities for artistic, social and cultural communication. Form 1990s the number of the ARs increased manifold around the world. Diversity of types and models of ARs attributes to their institutional affiliation, funding principles, social and cultural aims of their initiators.

We can assume that AR appeared in Russia at the end of 19th century, when well-known artistic coteries with specific personal and geographic location have first appeared (such as Polenov’s coterie in Abramtsevo and Tenishev’s in Talashkino near Smolensk).

In Soviet times the ARs in Russia were represented by Dom Tvorchestva (arts centers) of various arts unions (painters, writes or composers). In 1980s they became centers of active interregional and even international artistic exchange. Their type can be determined as AR programs “for the sake of art”.

In recent years Russia has witnessed emerging of a number of new ARs (such as NCCA and Ples landscape painting museum), most of them on temporary project basis (artists’ trips to Shargorod, Shiryaevskoye Pole near Samara, etc.).

A limited number of AR institutions, inertia in model usage, and poor awareness of potentially interested communities have become obstacles for Russian culture in developing international links and adopting international artistic contexts.

At the same time for the international ARs it is now important to develop multifunctional models. Russian specifics of AR problems, interest of international artists in Russia, limitation of this interest to well-known centers (Moscow and St Petersburg) – all these factors have urged us to hold an international workshop on AR in Russia.

Project Goals

  • Shaping new concepts of the AR applicable to contemporary Russia in perspectives of its cultural, social and economic development;
  • Working out new models of specialization and modification of the AR, features of their social and cultural communication consistent with 21st century realities (global world, mobility, inter-cultural links, and local values).

Project Tasks

  • Establishing favorable environment for project and analytical work on the theme;
  • Presentation and description of actual European and Russian experience in the field of AR and related problems;
  • Setting up an efficient communication system providing basis for dialogue to the parties involved, such as: initiators and organizers of the AR, artists and cultural figures, and representatives of local administrative and social institutions.


The major points of project implementation and development are: deficient understanding of cultural and social importance of the AR in Russia amid the apparent interest of international artists to the country, possibility for development of innovative mobile models, and assessment of the AR in the context of cultural, social and business realities.

Participants of the symposium submit materials (the AIR experience) through the themes of "cultural exchange", ("business"), "hospitality", "environmental development", "social values & education/learning)".

Participants can present their messages, approving or criticizing the AIR conditional space. For the symposium this space is characterized by the following measurements and concepts:

1. Persons / subjects interested in the existence and development of the AIR institute:

  • AR initiators (State and non-governmental private institutions);
  • Residents (painters, musicians, poets and curators);
  • Territories (representatives of social communities, authorities and partners’ institutions);

2. Activity and productivity of the participants includes:

  • Interests – identification of various possible and perspective interests of the above-mentioned participants;
  • The system of communication – contacts and communication of initiators, residents and territories according to their interests;
  • Production/effects – current and potential results of AR institutions’ activities for the initiators, residents and territories.

Within the framework of the communication system differences and similarities of the subjects participating in various AIR models are considered, analyzed and discussed.

The workshop also envisages a communication program: publication of the workshop materials in the media, targeted mailing of workshop materials to potential AR initiators, and initiation of discussion on establishment of a network, association or coordination center for the AR in Russia.