Since 2005, the City of Strasbourg organises residencies for visual artists in conjunction with its partner cities throughout the world (sister and partner cities, member cities of the Strasbourg Club). These residencies operate on the principle of reciprocity.
The City of Strasbourg’s main partner in this project is the European Centre for Contemporary Artistic Action (CEAAC),which specialises in the field of visual arts. In Strasbourg, the City of Strasbourg and the CEAAC facilitate the integration of the foreign artists into the cultural environment of the city, as well as endeavour to highlight their presence in the city, and facilitate the dissemination of their works within the limits of their possibilities (exhibitions, conferences, public visits to the workshops, etc.)
They subsequently organise a collective exhibition of the work produced in Strasbourg and its partner cities during that year’s residency programme.
- Anke Binnewerg from Dresden : Residence in Strasbourg in June 2010
- Crescence Bouvarel from Strasbourg : Residence in Dresden in May 2010
- Tadas Maksimovas from Vilnius : Residence in Strasbourg from September to November 2010
- Inga Meldere from Riga : Residence in Strasbourg from May to July 2010
- Zahra Poonawala from Strasbourg : Residence in Riga from April to June 2010
- Letizia Romanini from Strasbourg : Residence in Vilnius from March to May 2010
If it had not created the conditions for the free circulation of people, ideas, affects, empathies and wonders, the suppression of Europe’s internal borders would have simply been a customs and excise, policing and administrative measure. These conditions are now in place, but they are not enough: flesh and blood individuals still have to travel the length and breadth of the spaces thus opened, actually make the crossings that history long rendered impossible, make the most of the clearings opened up to trace new paths, which lead them to each other. To sketch out a Europe of the senses, of tastes, of unpublished words and astonished perceptions, souls, desires, imaginations, multifarious accents and colourful appearances are also needed. The bearers of images, sounds and words must find places where they can compare their proposals, their works, their dreams. Spaces must be left open for utopias and the encouragement to see, hear and think even more deeply maintained, over and above what is currently understood, accepted, filed, archived.
Artists’ residences foster this aim, which concerns not only the individuals committed to it but also, collectively speaking, the adventure upon which we Europeans have embarked together. It is also in everyone’s interests that Europe, an administrative, diplomatic and political entity, also become the land of art, of the inventive dialogue of cultures, of experimentation in new forms of expression, a constant awakening and chance discovery of the inexhaustible surprises that freedom holds for us. Thank you to the artists who played the game in 2010 and today exhibit works produced during their residence, Anke Binnewerg, Crescence Bouvarel, Tadas Maksimovas, Inga Meldere, Zahra Poonawala, Letizia Romanini, thank you to the cities of Dresden, Riga and Vilnius, thank you to the European Centre for Contemporary Artistic Activities (CEAAC); together, we are adding our little stone to the grand design.
Mr. Daniel Payot, Deputy Mayor in charge of Cultural Affairs of the City of Strasbourg
Inviting fifteen foreign artists to Strasbourg each year and providing them with the very best conditions in which to successfully complete their project here, and, reciprocally, allowing fifteen artists who work in Alsace to spend a few months several hundred kilometres from Strasbourg, have, for almost ten years now, been part and parcel of what we do. This work is, of course, wholly in line with our mission to support contemporary artistic endeavour and bring it to a wider audience in the same way as the exhibitions at our art centre or our activities in the Pourtalès sculpture park. The story began in 1997 with our first involvement in artist exchange programs bet- ween Land Baden Württemberg, Region Alsace and the Ministry of Culture (DRAC Alsace); today and for the last six years, our International Relations department has been glad to work in tandem with the City of Strasbourg and, this year, the cities of Vilnius, Riga and Dresden. And we are delighted to present the fruit of this endeavour today in this exhibition devoted to the works produced by the 2010 prize winners of these exchanges.
Mr. Gérard Traband, President of the CEAAC