July 28, 2020

Open call for UNIDEE 2020: Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future

Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto

(1) South Square, Titanic Party, 1984. (2) Summer Camp, UNIDEE 2019. (3) Sandi Hilal. Photo: Elias Arvidsson. (4) Dafna Moscati, Io so difendermi, UNIDEE 2001. (5) Leone Contini, Banca del Germoplasma Migrante, 2016. Photo: Pierluigi di Pietro.

What can we do from this place? What future can we build together?

UNIDEE and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto are pleased to invite applications for participation in this year’s Unidee Residency. Curated by Andy Abbott the theme is "Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future".

The global Coronavirus pandemic is an event that had created new conditions for arts and culture. Those who wish to effect social change through their practice are left with questions: "What can we do from here?" and "What future can we help to build?”. The residency aims to collectively and collaboratively address key questions, challenges and themes in the area of embedded and socially engaged art practice. Through the lens of a "post pandemic" future, participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge that they can then apply in both the postindustrial context of Biella and their own locale.

Over ten weeks from September to November 2020, the residency will provide time and space for practitioners and thinkers from a range of backgrounds to collectively and collaboratively address key questions and challenges for embedded and socially engaged art practice in the unfolding context of a post-virus world. Read the UNIDEE 2020 program Curatorial Statement here.

How will it work?
In order to accommodate global social distancing measures and travel restrictions the bulk of the residency will be accessed remotely, with a one-week intensive project in Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (Northern Italy).

Participants will be invited to undertake an action research project in their locale—initiated in response to simple brief—to develop and share with the rest of the cohort. The one-week intensive in Biella will provide an opportunity for three participants at a time to test and apply their project in the context of Biella, a postindustrial town with a history of adapting to transformations in the way we work, live, create and be with one another.

Participants will benefit from perspectives, workshops, and mentoring opportunities from guest practitioners, curators, arts organisers and academics that will enrich and help frame their own practice and projects. Invited guests include architect and researcher Sandi Hilal, (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Stockholm, Sweden), Arte Útil curators and researchers Gemma Medina Estupiñán and Alessandra Saviotti (Spain/Italy), curator and organizer-as-artist Eva Rowson (Bergen Kjøtt, University of Bergen, Norway), professor of art Mick Wilson (Hdk-Valand Academy/University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Nadia Moreno Moya and Fernando Escobar Neira (School of Arts, National University of Colombia) researchers working on the interstices between the art and politics in Latin America, independent research and curator Aria Spinelli (Rome, Italy) as well as embedded arts organisations In-Situ (East Lancashire, UK) and South Square Centre (West Yorkshire, UK).

Participants will also access an online symposium and weekly webinar series themed on the past, present and future of embedded and socially engaged practice, and take part in virtual seminars to discuss and share their work.

The residency will be documented and disseminated through a collective installation/exhibition at Cittadellarte, and a publication.

Who is it for?
We envisage a cohort of up to thirty participants from a range of backgrounds and with diverse practices in the area of socially engaged art and social practice, curatorial practice, and community-organization. Participants will have an emerging or developing practice—either as an individual or as representative of an organisation or institution—that they are ready to share, interrogate and test in new contexts. Experience need not necessarily relate to an institution or formal education. We particularly welcome applications from those who will bring under-represented voices and perspectives to the cohort.

Participants will need to be able to engage with the full ten weeks of the program that will take place between September 21 and November 29, 2020, and commit to a one-week intensive project in Biella at some point in this period. The week in Biella is from Monday to Monday and the participants must arrive in Biella the Sunday and leave on Tuesday. This because Monday is one of the most important days for the program as it is the time for two groups of participants to overlap and interesting conversations and exchanges will arise.

The ten slots for the one-week intensive in Biella are: September 21– 28 / September 28–October 5 / October 5–12 / October 12–19 / October 19– 26 / October 26– November 2 / November 2– 9 / November 9–16 / November 16–23 / November 23–30

In your application you will be asked to let us know if there are any weeks you can definitely not be present in Biella, as well as any week for which you have a preference.

The program will be delivered in English and participants should be fluent speakers.

Bursaries and scholarships are available to cover the full EUR 1500 fee for the program and accommodation whilst in Biella. Participants will be required to cover their own travel to/from Biella and food/living costs whilst in Cittadellarte.

Application is by Expression of Interest by filling out the application form with the following requirement:
–Indicate the weeks of preference of the one-week intensive project in Cittadellarte (from Monday to Monday);
–Up to 150 words about yourself and your practice and/or experience, and your suitability for the residency*;
–Up to 200 words about the local context (place, communities, audiences) in which you would undertake your action research project and what long-term change you could hope to facilitate;
–Up to 150 words about the challenges, concerns or worries you have for your practice in a post-pandemic future;
–and a CV / Portfolio in PDF format (max 6mb).

*Please state if you would like to be considered for a bursary to subsidise the residency fee.

Download the application form here.

Applicants must submit their application by email to: [email protected] stating: “UNIDEE 2020 residency application (your name)” as a subject line.

Deadline for submission is 5pm August 24 and we will let successful applicants know a decision by August 31.

About Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto
In 1999 Michelangelo Pistoletto founded Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s program of artists’ residencies for art and social transformation: UNIDEE residency programs. A program open to artists and professionals from all over the world who reside at Cittadellarte for a certain period of time; the program aims at providing instruments for “artivators”, i.e. subjects working at the boundaries between artistic practices, processes of social change and collaborations with communities external to the art world, weaving together moments of interdisciplinary research, exchange of knowledge and practical activities; the objective of the program is to provide the participants with the inspiration, motivation and instruments to activate, develop or strengthen artistic initiatives based on the involvement of local ecologies.

UNIDEE patrons are Piedmont Region, Compagnia di San Paolo, CRT Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Fondazione Zegna, illycaffè S.p.A.
UNIDEE AIR partners are A.M. Qattan Foundation (PS); Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation (IN); Yarat Contemporary Art Space (AZ).

For further informations please visit UNIDEE website or contact us via email: unidee [​at​]

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