Residency & Exhibition 'Taking Time'

On Hosting and Displacing – Part 1

Taking Time: Only the expanse of snow could be seen, white as this page

Curated residency and exhibition in Nida Art Coiony by Petra Koehle (CH) and Federica Martini (CH)


Exhibition takes place on 10-15th of December 2012, in the gallery "Akademija" (Pilies St. 44/ Latako St. 2, Vilnius)

With opening on 10th of December at 6 pm.

Participating artists:

Marta Bogdanska (PL), Sigbjorn Bratlie (NO), Luca Diffuse (IT), Olivia Glasser (UK), Vahag Hamalbashyan (ARM), Petra Koehle (AT/CH), Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky (CH/NL), Toni Ledentsa (FIN), Henning Lundkvist (SE), Federica Martini (IT/CH), Vytautas Michelkevičius (LT), Fiona Reilly (IRL), Jeanie Sinclair (UK), Marika Troili (SE), Myroslav Vayda (UA), Peter Wehinger (AT), Natalia Zintsova (RUS).


Preliminary questions on an artists-in-residence session at Nida


“That morning he was awakened by the silence. Marcovaldo pulled out of bed with the sense of something in the air. He did not know what time it was, the opening between the slats of the blinds was different from all the hours of the day and night. He opened the window, the city was gone, replaced by a white sheet. Straining his eyes, stood out in the middle of the white, almost deleted some lines, which correspond to those of the usual view: the windows and rooftops and lampposts around, but lost under all the snow that had fallen over in the night...

During the walk, Marcovaldo dreamed of getting lost in a different city, instead of walking to his daily working place”.

Italo Calvino, “La città smarrita nella neve”, 1963


Taking Time is a curatorial project proposing to focus on what happens within the time- and spatial frame of an artistic residency.

Much reflection was developed on cultural nomadism and its impact on artistic production in recent years, based on a general reaction to the inclusion/exclusion dialectics made (critically) visible by the globalization of the art system. Artists-in-residence programs were at the same time effects and agents of this change, as they imply the enactment of hosting and displacement as a cultural production strategy.

In this sense, the potential of retreat offered by residency programmes presents itself both as a “time lapse” in regular working routine and as a situation that is not ruled by the pressure to produce according to regular standards. Still, even when the conceptual frame of the residency is not imposing this working-under-pressure mode, is it possible to escape it in one’s studio space? Or how is the lack of external pressure influencing the intrinsic motivation? And what is the specific element brought in by experiencing a residency in picturesque and remote situations, such as Nida, where the working context not only highlight and bring into question cultural production modes, but also echoes leftovers of romantic issues?

How to avoid and/or critically read the exoticism potential arisen by these sites?

Does the displacement take the form of a romantic expedition or is it based on hospitality and exchange?


Within our participation in the residency, we would like to establish a framework that stimulates exchange, (self-)organization and the critical reading of the context, according to the questions above. In September, we would like to establish a correspondence on the questions above with the artists involved in the residency, as a way to share about their work and the site- and context-specific conditions where it is developed. During our October and December residency, a program will be launched in collaboration with the artists, including screenings, presentations and discussions focusing around the concepts of the exhibitions. The exhibition will include both the works by the artists and a selection of objects/writings discussed during the correspondence.



Thanks for the pictures to Marta Bogdanska!



Federica Martini, PhD, is an art historian and curator. She was a member of the Curatorial Departments of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli-Turin, Musée Jenisch Vevey and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts/Lausanne, and curator of the visual art section of the Festival des Urbaines, Lausanne.

Since 2009 she is head of the Master program MAPS - Arts in Public Spheres at ECAV, Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais, Sierre.

Her curatorial practice, often developed in collaboration, explore diverse exhibition formats and “out of the cube” situations, such as ethnographic or historic museums, online archives, atomic shelters, gardens, fanzines/editions.

Recent exhibitions include Outsourcing (edition, 2009); The Reading Sculpture (edition, 2009); Double Exposure (Conches – Musée d’ethnographie, Genève, 2010); Slipping Glimpser (Théatre Arsenic, atomic shelters, Lausanne, 2011); Incongruous (Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts/Lausanne, 2011); What is a Fact? (Musée historique, Yverdon-les-Bains, 2012); Vague Terrain – 0° latitude-longitude Gleisdreieck (Complices, Berlin, 2012). She is currently working with Didier Rittener on the project Royal Garden 4 – Rivières (Le Crédac – Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry).

Recent publications: Just Another Exhibition: Stories and Politics of Biennials (Postmedia Books, Milano, 2011) and Marco Fedele di Catrano – Unbearable dissertation on a broken line (cura, Roma, 2011), and several articles on exhibiting national identities.

Petra Koehle has studied photography, theory and fine art at the Zurich University of the Arts and at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London.

Since 2003 she works collaboratively with Nicolas Vermot Petit-Outhenin. They developed a performative Setting to understand the probability of a chance meeting, managed a Guesthouse in Sihanoukville and activated Archive material by reenacting some of its documents. In order to understand the present they connect their own existence with other spaces and different times. Koehle/Vermot's latest works and researches are investigating how technologies and more specifically the medium of photography relates to the process of archiving and how its mechanisms of selection it imposes certain rules. Collaborations with other people as well as organizing exhibitions, discussions and performances are consistently part of their work and a strategy to intervene cultural politics.

Petra Koehles work was honored with a Werkbeitrag of the City and the Canton of Zürich, the UBS Culture Foundation and the Kiefer Hablitzel Award. Studio awards in the Swiss Institute in Rome and the Cité internationale des Arts de Paris. Exhibitions in Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt, Kunsthaus Glarus, Shedhalle Zurich and at the Sinop Biennial in Turkey. Presentations and performances at Kunsthalle Baselland in Basle, Piano Nobile in Geneva and during Printed Matter in PS1 in New York. She published several artist books in the edition fink such as There where I should have been yesterday. I am here today and Pour les Oiseaux. Petra Köhle has curated performance evenings and exhibitions at the Cité internationale des Arts de Paris and the Swiss Institute in Rome. Currently she is doing her Phd at the University of the Art in Linz and works as guest lecturer at Berne University of the Arts and as assistant a Ecole Cantonale d'Art du Valais.

We are thankful for our partners who provided grants for the most of curators and artists. Project is supported by Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Ministry of Culture of Lithuanian Republic, Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for culture.

«A cooperation project1 in the framework of the exchange programme with Central and Eastern Europe, initiated by the liaison office of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in