'DON'T LOOK BACK'
Published by Platform, 2010
Edited by Ulrika Ferm & Maria Ångermann
Designed by Tuomo
Väänänen
ISBN 978 952 67484 1 2

A publication marking ten years of Platform gallery, based in Vaasa, Finland. Featuring content from many people who have worked with them over that time.

Contributions from fifty writers, artists and artist groups including: Jenny Baines, Matti Braun, Kane Do, Fin Fem Fel, Emma Houlihan, Per Huttner, Jan Erik, Lundstrom, Cesare Pietroiusti, Maja Rohwetter, Barry Sykes, Stephan US.

I wrote a new text, using my recent experiences of several international residencies to compile questions I'd asked myself into survey that readers of the book could respond to.

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'SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT ARTIST RESIDENCIES'


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I’ve done a number of artist residencies over the years, maybe you have too? Do you give much thought to how they work? What, in your opinion, would be the most perfect artist residency? (Please feel free to use the space below, the margins, the inside cover of this book or any scrap paper you have nearby to answer.)

1) What would be the very least you would need to make an artist residency worthwhile? (If you’re not an artist then just imagine you are, what would that be like? Having said that, if this isn’t for you then please feel free to move on to the next text)


2) Do you think warm or cold weather would be more conducive to making better work?


3) Would an immense, unlimited production budget make your work proportionately more interesting? Would no production budget at all make it impossible? Would somewhere in between be any better?


4) I’ve heard of residencies in the Arctic, in Borneo, in Trinidad, in castles and in a curator’s small spare bedroom in a suburban town. Which of these would you prefer to commit to?


5) Do you think you could have a residency in exactly the same place that you always work?


6) Is any studio space a kind of residency?


7) Is it too much to consider Robinson Crusoe the first residency artist?


8) Do you feel indebted to those who offer you the residency opportunity?


9) Could you confidently ignore your surroundings when you’ve travelled all that way?


10) Do you know anything about how they select residency artists?


11) Would you feel as purposeful if you organised your residency yourself, and no one had asked you to be there?


12) Do you consider it more important when you undertake a residency rather than where? I mean at a certain peak or trough in your career.


13) If you left your residency in a wake of destruction and catastrophe and with everyone glad to see the back of you, would that be so terrible?


14) Would you consider all the people you meet on residency friends or work colleagues?


15) Is it wrong to think of a residency as half-holiday, half-work?


16) Should a successful, self-determined artist ever need to do a residency?


17) Do you ever concern yourself with the hierarchies involved when you are asked to do a residency, or do you think such things don’t apply to you?


18) Is it important to leave some of your usual working methods behind when you go on a residency or do you consider that a patronising attitude?


19) Do you feel more professional or less professional when on a residency?


20) Do you get bored of explaining your work to new people, or is it useful to hear yourself paraphrasing your own
practice?


21) Is it better to have a residency somewhere with an overbearing history or somewhere no one has heard of?


22) Should you leave the place exactly as you found it or is it too much to expect your presence to have made some mark?


23) Do you feel you better or worse equipped to entertain failure when on a residency?


24) Do you worry about how people will talk of you after you leave?



© Barry Sykes 2010