ARC Magazine announces Katherine Kennedy’s Fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude

ARC Magazine shares Katherine Kennedy‘s first report from Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. Katherine was selected on behalf of Fresh Milk to participate in the ResSupport Fellowship programme offered by Res Artis. During her 3 month tenure, she will be a resident correspondent, interacting with the personnel and fellows, conducting interviews, and extending the wealth of the Akademie’s programming to our community. Read more below:

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The best way I can describe both the past few and upcoming months would be transitionary. Working in the arts is flexible by nature, but at times it feels even more crucial to be receptive to change when operating in the context of the Caribbean and contributing to platforms such as ARC Magazine and Fresh Milk. The missions of both initiatives overlap and synergize in their commitment to maintaining critical, creative spaces of encounter, acting as ‘cultural labs‘ whose agendas surpass nationalistic thinking with the larger, holistic good of the region in mind. These are ambitious goals that both ARC and Fresh Milk rise and adapt to in a number of ways on an ongoing basis, and goals that can only be achieved through open mindedness to new ideas, new people and new environments.

I applied in the capacity of Assistant to Director at Fresh Milk to the ResSupport Fellowship programme offered by Res Artis, a worldwide network of over 400 residencies of which Fresh Milk is a member. The fellowship is described as an “exchange program of cultural workers at residency centres…[providing] the occasion to increase organisational consciousness, strengthen the bonds, and also generate knowledge and cultural sharing among the members of the Res Artis network.”

These ideas of exchange and knowledge transfer immediately resonated, having always been at the heart of our work, and I was honoured to have been selected to travel to Stuttgart, Germany to be hosted for three months (September 1 – December 1, 2014)  by Akademie Schloss Solitude. In addition to gaining insight into how this prestigious residency centre is run and fostering relationships with the staff and resident artists, I will be acting as a correspondent on behalf of Fresh Milk and ARC, sharing information on the Caribbean contemporary art scene and in turn extending my experiences and information gained at the Akademie with our networks throughout the region. I’m aiming to ensure that this journey is not a drop in a pond, but can lead to future collaboration and be mutually enriching for all involved – large goals seem to come with the territory, but the very existence of opportunities such as this is proof that there is a real desire on both sides for meaningful engagement.

The transition from Barbados to Germany is taking place, and even as I take the time to orient myself here I am eager to absorb as much as I can, having hit the ground running. But while this shift in my location and commitments will be more than a drop in a pond in the greater scheme of things, it has still produced ripples in the daily functioning of both initiatives I am representing.

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While I am abroad, Barbadian artist and regular volunteer at Fresh Milk, Versia Harris, will be stepping in and interning as Assistant to Director in training, exemplifying the importance of investing in the development of emerging artists and equipping them with the necessary skills to confidently enter professional environments. Similarly, ARC has recently inducted three interns into its fold – Katherine Agard, Varala Maraj and Natalie Willis – who have each been applying their talents and doing a fantastic job at working cohesively with ARC’s core team. Witnessing the domino effect of knowledge transfer that is already branching out from all sides feels very special to me, and can only stretch further and further as time passes and each new experience gets added to the mix.

Transition is also a form of evolution. New ideas, new people, new environments; all of these continue to come together to spell progress, growth and fresh prospects in ways that we envision reaching far beyond my tenure in Germany, with the input of so many incredible individuals and institutions working in tandem to create and circulate new possibilities. In this spirit, I’ll finish by sharing Akademie Schloss Solitude’s current call for applications to their next residency cycle below – perhaps it will be the first point of departure from this fellowship for new discoveries and opportunities for others:

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Call for Applications: Akademie Schloss Solitude

For the fifteenth time, Akademie Schloss Solitude is granting approx. 70 residency fellowships of three to twelve months in duration. More than 1.200 artists from more than 100 countries have developed and advanced projects at the Akademie since its opening in 1990, creating a close-knit, global network of Solitude alumni that expands from year to year. The Akademie pursues an intense exchange between artistic and scientific disciplines. With the art, science & business program the transfer of knowledge and experience between these fields can be deepened to create new synergies of creativity, inventiveness and management.

International artists are invited to apply from the following disciplines: Architecture (design, landscape architecture, urban planning), Visual Arts (including performance art), Performing Arts (stage design, dramatic texts, dramaturgy, musical theater, performance, direction, drama, dance), Design (fashion, costume, product and furniture design, visual communication), Literature (essay, criticism, poetry, prose, translation), Music/Sound (interpretation, sound installation, sound performance, composition) and Video/Film/New Media (including video installation, fiction and documentary).

Furthermore, scholars, scientists and professionals from the disciplines of the Humanities, Social Sciences (with a focus on culture and the politics of space), Economy/Economics (with a focus on urban policy), and Culture & Law (with a focus on authorship) are invited to apply.

Persons up to 35 or if older who have completed a university or college degree within the past five years are welcome to apply. Currently enrolled university or college students (at the time of application) will not be considered for selection. Each fellowship recipient is granted Euro 1,100 per month, in addition to free lodging.

For additional information on the residency programme, application process and selection jury members, see the Akademie Schloss Solitude website here, or visit our Opportunities page.

Application deadline is Friday, October 31, 2014 (Postmark/End of Online Application).

​As of July 1, applicants will find all information, be able to register and download the application form or apply online on the Application website.

Mapping the Commonwealth with “Glasgow’s Finest”

Alberta Whittle shares her thoughts on the recent International Artist Initiated (IAI) project in Glasgow, presented by the David Dale Gallery & Studios as part of The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme which took place alongside this year’s Commonwealth Games. Read more below:

Photograph by Rayanne Bushell

Representatives of Clark House Initiative, RM, Video Network Lagos, Fresh Milk; Alberta Whittle and Rayanne Bushell

 “In 1884 the Earl of Rosebery visits Australia and asks, ”Does the fact of your being a nation… imply separation from the Empire? God forbid! There is no need for any new nation, however great, leaving the Empire, because the Empire is a Commonwealth of Nations“.”[1]

In the summer of 2014, the Commonwealth Games arrived in Glasgow. Much like any travelling circus, the Games brought believers, performers, participants and an audience. Like any participant, I came to Glasgow with my own expectations. Having lived in the city for many years, but failing to assimilate completely, I still feigned the confidence that comes so easily for those who know the area. Sharing a taxi ride, with the self-proclaimed “Glasgow’s Finest”, the driver quizzed me on my knowledge of the city’s geography, asking me where roads connected, easily highlighting my failure to truly belong to Glasgow. The driver insisted on informing me that Glasgow’s taxi drivers were always known as “Glasgow’s Finest”, and I was not allowed to forget it.

During this trip, over many conversations with “Glasgow’s Finest”, a discourse of belonging and not belonging readily emerged. The drivers often assumed Barbadian artist, Annalee Davis and I were Americans, our accents blurring into a vague sense of foreign-ness. They asked why we were here, and when we explained about our project as part of the Commonwealth Games, they in turn spoke of how the Games were not for Glaswegians. The Games’ faux presentation of multiculturalism and the promotion of the idea that we are all in this together confronts the reality that, for many Glaswegians, there is a disconnect between their participation on home soil and the participation of the athletes and visitors flown in to contribute to the spectacle of imagined unity. The notion of unity between us, members of a former British colony, and Glaswegians, a nation grappling with securing their own independence, came from an unlikely direction. Driving through the Merchant City we passed roads such as St. Vincent Street and Jamaica Street; easy reminders of Glasgow’s active role within the slave trade as members of the plantocracy and as indentured servants. However, “Glasgow’s Finest” posited the belief that Caribbean and Scottish nations must be united against the English, advocating the belief that Scots also faced “oppression” from England. This supposition did not entirely surprise me, given the political climate surrounding the upcoming Scottish Referendum.

From the banners, traffic diversions and the odd, green mascot called Clyde dotted across the city, the aura of the Commonwealth seeped into Glasgow’s public spaces. As part of the celebrations, the David Dale Gallery in Glasgow’s East End invited artist-run spaces from across the Commonwealth:  Fillip (Canada),  RM (New Zealand), Cyprus Dossier (Cyprus), Fresh Milk (Barbados), Video Art Network Lagos (Nigeria) and Clark House Initiative (India) to participate in their International Artist Initiated programme.

As part of the Fresh Milk platform, Mark King, Ronald Williams and myself presented a series of interventions. Responding to the commercial nature of the area, we crafted three individual presentations. The location of the David Dale Gallery within the heart of the East End of Glasgow – once a thriving industrial boomtown – seems peculiarly apt, mirroring the substantial role of production Britain’s former colonies assumed, laying the foundation for the industrial revolution. These same former colonies are now re-positioned as independent nations, members of the Commonwealth, exhibiting artwork in their own image. The recent deterioration of Glasgow’s prominence in manufacturing, where production is now outsourced to these former colonies, lends symmetry to the proceedings.

 “Internet ultimately offers both the seductions and subductions of a postmodern “world.”’ [2]

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