Res Artis Member Meeting in Australia deals with 'the South'

August 2004 -

The bi-annual member meeting of the worldwide network of artist-in-residence centres, Res Artis, will be held in August of 2004. The theme is the role of the South or 'the periphery' in the global art world.

The title of the Res Artis meeting is Knowledge + Dialogue + Exchange: Remapping cultural globalisms from the South. The meeting will be held from the 10 th to 16 th of August 2004 and is being organized by Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Sydney and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in Melbourne. The objective of the general member's meeting is to review the theme of globalisation from the perspective of the South. It is also to study what must be included under the term 'periphery'. According to the web site, the conference will also 'delve deeper than the exclusion and restrictions of the current definitions of this term that only serve to strengthen the division'. Last month the South Project, a four-year art project with exactly the same theme was launched in Sydney (see Current June 2004).

Res Artis wants to use this conference, which consists of lectures, workshops and visits to exhibitions, to increase its involvement in and knowledge of the South. The network hopes to recruit more members from Africa, Asia and Latin America. It recently received a subsidy from the North American Ford Foundation for this purpose.

'In Australia we will also discuss what this expansion will mean for the network's functioning', according to Maria Tuerlings, secretary of the Board of Res Artis and director of the Dutch member Trans Artists. 'Not only must cultural differences be taken into account, but also the contrasts between artists and institutionalized organizations, for example. The new members will frequently be small-scale artist's initiatives with few financial resources, while the current members include many large institutes. That has many consequences for the mutual relationships and discussion within the network.'

(For a discussion of 'the South' see the column by Claudia Fontes on this page)