K.A.I.R. - Košice Artist in Residence
An opportunity for artists to gain new experience
The fact that Košice is about to become the European Capital of Culture in 2013 has opened new possibilities for the local cultural scene and activists: artists are invited to Košice and and vice versa, artists from Košice go abroad to look for new inspiration.
Therefore, the aim of the project is to support the creativity of invited and delegated artists, to stimulate the art scene in Košice, in the region and in Slovakia, as well as dialogue with the public. With that comes the idea to create and strengthen the environment for innovative and contemporary art projects with international partners.
Freedom of artists sponsored by government
In other words, the project wants to support the freedom of artists. To give the participating artist the possibility to change his location for several months, to work in a different place, start a collaboration with the local art scene, to provoke, interact with the social surrounding and local public. Via the residencies, the project should build up networks. The visiting artist creates a bond to his new location, a connection with the people he has worked with, which provides a basis not only for present but also for future collaboration.
In June 2011 there was an international conference held in Košice. Professionals from about 7 countries came to Košice to discuss the issue of residencies. Afterwards, some pilot projects of residencies were triggered.
The team of Košice 2013 and several international experts, who recommend and consult the residency program, do not focus only on a certain branch of art, they are looking for artists who will fit in Košice, who are open enough, interested in the city and region, and last but not least, open to interact. The artists should be professionals, but not well known. The project wants to help those with potential but yet not well known. Recently there was a world wide open call for artists willing to come to Košice, but the focus is also on the Visegrad region and EU eastern partnership. The fact that Košice is situated near the Schengen border predestines them to create a bridge between the western and eastern part of Europe. Therefore the residencies focus also on Ukraine and Moldova at the moment.
Feedback was big
The residency program has met with quite a lot of interest from the artists. In the mentioned world wide open call, approximately 350 artists have applied. On the other hand, the public responded more slowly and cautious. The residencies are not a short-term, one-time project. But in general, the public is getting familiar with the artists, with the residency project and the cultural activists are quite of help. The participating artists are satisfied with the project, they are even recommending their colleagues to participate in it. The fact is that residencies have been possible also before, but the name of the European Capital of Culture opens doors. In the present there is a basis to create some system that will continue later on, it is a chance to create a good name for the cultural activists and the cultural scene in Košice, which will help later in 2014.