While mulberry and apricots are ready to be picked, the first fruits of the residency program have been harvested already. Ingrid Simons had her exhibition in the National Museum of Evora, We had wonderful, site specific performances and artist talks.
This newsletter gives some recent highlights. Events earlier in 2023 are on the 2023 page.
In June our residents in Portugal are Ingrid Simons, Dan Ayres, Juliana Stankiewicz, Beate Schnaithmann, Charley Wührer, Janice Deary, Peter van Huffel, Andrea Brasch and Jona Ray. In OBRAS Holland Yvonne Halfens and Nico Huijbreghts take a residency.
Ingrid Simons, annual resident at OBRAS since 2010, had an exhibition in the National Museum of Évora. The title Onde cresce a esteva – A luz do Alentejo [Where the rock-rose grows – The light of Alentejo] indicates that it is an homage to the nature and the skies of Alentejo. The exhibition was from 22 April until 29 May.
The exhibition is part of her residency that is from 14 April until 27 June. In this period the artist also gave a ceramics workshop, together with Luis Rosado, in Redondo.
Ruth Baettig (performer; Switzerland), Beate Schnaithmann (cellist; Germany) and Giuseppe di Salvatore (philosopher; Italy) are currently all living in Switzerland. During their residency they were working on a long-term project: “Ich habe mich verloren”. The idea is that losing yourself can be a starting point, a pearl, an opportunity to find yourself in a reality previously unknown. The risk of getting lost is a chance to really be there on earth. The project also considers the place of the human in the Anthropocene, and what the links are between human, animal, vegetation and non-living matter.
Their joint residency was a burst of creativity. An obvious highlight was a performance 70 metes deep in an abandoned marble quarry in the light of the full moon. While Ruth, dressed in a black “skin”, was making minimal movements, Beate was improvising on “La Folia”, a motive from the Baroque period. Other site-specific performances were in a cork oak plantation and around the residency. The slide show gives a first impression. Soon a video compilation will be published.
The project will get a follow up in September, during a several-weeks voyage from Switzerland to Portugal.
Anna Geary-Meyer (USA, living in Berlin) was working on a novel: Chocolate mouse, that tells, among others, about the fear and wish of a young woman to be pregnant. The woman is sexually confused and lives a bohemian, opportunistic life. In a deeper layer the novel also contemplates on a time spirit in which writing about personal trauma and suffering seems to have become fashion, as if life becomes more beautiful by experiencing violence. Anna´s writing is also informed by her professional training in clinical psychology.
During her artist talk Anna did read out fragments of several stories. She showed to be an expert in writing about heavy subjects in a light, humorist way. And she was highly productive during her residency: she wrote 160 pages.
Reinekke Lengelle (Canada) had a residency at OBRAS Holland, as part of her sabbatical. She wrote about living for a full year as a minimalist. It will be published in 2024 as a chapter in a book called “Meaningful Journeys: Autoethnographies of Quest and Identity Transformation” edited by Alec Grant and Elizabeth Lloyd-Parkes.
Reinekke also wrote a beautiful poem integrated in a small art object (co-created with Annita van Betuw, a local artist). The poem tells about her stay and her memories of her Dutch grandparents. But reads also as a contemplation on the dependency of each other and on the passing of time.