Excerpt from Residencies and Nomadism

In today’s world the formalist master artist, perfecting his style in a lifetime, is an exhausted model. The new one is the artist capable of formally mastering an existential message or situation at any moment of his or her life. That is why art today has mainly an interventionist and temporary character and why, indeed, it can happen anywhere. The studio of the post-modern artist is the world.

Migrating artists belong with the many transcultural messengers of a world whose keywords are nomadism and globalism. Thus it is natural that the codes of mobility and temporariness are responsible for the creation of their own cultural instruments – beyond former central or mainstream institutions. The post-modern invention and worldwide spreading of residential arts centres is just such a secular instrument. It corresponds to the need of artists and intellectuals to experience the world and its many environments and cultures, to realize in situ research and projects, to be temporarily part of creative communities and to profit from the opportunity they offer for exchanging ideas and know-how.

The networking of centres across national and cultural barriers is part of the post-modern game, facilitating, not least, the crossing of borders between art and technology. Yet there is another important function of residential arts centres: artists’ nomadism is most naturally a concerted action of moving and settling in order to discover and to create, in order to renew one’s awareness and one’s formal responses. “The nomad”, Gilles Deleuze states, “is not necessarily someone who moves: there are travels in which one does not move, travels in intensity, … nomads (are) those who start nomadizing in order to stay in the same place and free themselves from codes”.