Emily Jacir Installation shot of 'Material for a film'.

Creative Time Picks Global Residents

Being an artist in todays global art market means logging lots of frequent flyer miles with projects in museums, galleries, art fairs and biennials around the globe. At a certain level, artists are flying to Germany, South America and China to work with curators and create projects and installations. Recently, Creative Time hosted roundtables with artists, asking them what they needed to tackle the most important issues facing our world today? Emily Jacir replied: “artists need time to open themselves to new ideas and inspiration that lead to new work.” Time. Something these artists often do not have between their academic careers and exhibition schedules.

The Creative Time Global Residency program (also supported by the Rockefeller Foundations New York City Cultural Innovation Fund) was born from these roundtables. Six artists were selected for the inaugural residency program: Maya Lin, Walid Raad, Emily Jacir, Judi Wethein, Sanford Biggers and K8 Hardy. Each will be given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world they would like to go, to spend their time in contemplation, engaging with a community on a deeper level. No finished project is required.

According to the Creative Time press release, this is what the artists will be doing.

Sanford Biggers will use this opportunity to investigate societies with great cultural syncretism and cross-pollination””a melding of different beliefs, traditions, and cultural influences””in order to continue exploring what has become a central focus of his artistic practice: the study of ethnological objects, popular culture and icons, and Dadaist strategies.

K8 Hardy will travel to Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the existence of a feminist and/or lesbian community of contemporary artists and underground publications.

Emily Jacir, an artist whose work is heavily influenced by geography, travel, and conflicts of cultural identity, will investigate the Italian tradition of social activism that emerged in the 1960s in Rome, and the activist practices that continue today in the fields of art and media.

Maya Lins project What Is Missing?“”her fifth and last memorial””will rethink what a memorial can be. Lin will travel to the Everglades, China, and the Bialowieska Forest in Poland to observe and document disappearing species. A video portion of the What Is Missing? project will be shown At 44 1/2, Creative Times presentation of video art on MTVs outdoor, HD screen in Times Square from April 15 to April 30, with additional screenings on Earth Day.

Walid Raad, an artist uniquely engaged in observing the unique political and cultural forces at work in the Arab world, has witnessed the emergence of a new infrastructure for the visual arts in the region. As Raad explains, “the planned construction of several large art museums and art schools in the Arab Gulf raises fascinating questions about how art will be conceived, made, distributed, and consumed in the future, not only in the Arabian Gulf, but in the Arab world in general, and beyond.” Raad will interview scholars, artists, state officials, historians, and other thinkers, writers, and bureaucrats about these questions.

Judi Werthein will travel to a remote mountain community in southwest Hunan, China to investigate the modern reinvention of Nu¨ Shu, or “womens writing.” Nu¨ Shu“”which is not a distinct dialect but rather a phonetic writing system””was once used as a covert, intimate form of expression for heretical feelings about the frustration, melancholy, and loneliness of wives forced into arranged marriages. It is now being used in a way that is empowering and enriching to a new generation of girls.

“Privileging artists processes and an investment in social issues are central to Creative Times mission,” said Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time.

Now, if only projects like this werent only for the privileged artists.

(top photo: Installation shot of Material for a film by Emily Jacir)

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