Saturday, July 26, 2008
Other Residencies 1
The most candid and concise summary of an experience at an artist residency that I've read came from a slim book called Basta by Bedwyr Williams, who I met at the 2005 Venice Biennale. He was representing Wales, in a small exhibition worth the extra hike to find. The project was set up as a six-month residency, and he produced a thin volume and some photographs documenting his time there. He was presumably the envy of all back home for such a high-profile and glamourous residency, but the book focuses mainly on his homesickness and about being an outsider in a city of outsiders. Two weeks prior to the Biennale I had just completed a residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, and (though I had a great time there, and here) many of his observations rang true, and were very funny. He talks about artists in residence smelling funny and only having a few changes of clothes and being cranky at how immobile they are.
Everything here has been amazing, from the beautiful landscape to the fantastic hospitality. Andy Fairgreives, who runs the program is excellent, and my project demands a lot of the staff of the distillery, and they've all been incredibly helpful and giving of their time. But I've had a few stir-crazy homesick days lately. And I miss the cinema and having food delivered to my door and drying myself with a towel that didn't itself hang to dry (so fucking coarse). I've been eating a lot of pasta and soup and have (somehow) set off the smoke alarm half a dozen times.