Artists-in-Residence programme

International residence at Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre (Lithuania)

A project by Žaneta Jasaitytė

KCCC International Residency has been operating since 2006. All over the last decade, it has been, and remains, a significant part of the emerging Klaipėda Contemporary Art Culture Platform. During the period, about 100 artists, scientists, designers, and lecturers from different EU countries, USA, Russia, and Canada have taken part in the programmes of residency and created and worked together with target groups of cultural consumers (designers, young artists, students, and visitors to the KCCC exhibitions). The authors of the Residency collaborate with creative organizations of Klaipėda and divisions of Lithuanian public organizations (Klaipėda Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts and Klaipėda University). In 2017, Klaipėda became the Lithuanian Capital of Culture; in the process of preparing for that project and for participation in the competition for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2022, the guidelines for the cultural strategy of the city until 2030 were drafted. A significant contribution to their formulation has been made by the analysis of the KCCC International Residency projects implemented so far and the feasibility of their actual integration into the artistic life of the city in cooperation with wider audiences. Given all that, the Residency Programme 2017 is aimed at research devoted to preparation for the planned international art projects in Klaipėda in the period of 2018-2022, the creation of works of art in public spaces, and cycles of educational events for community groups. 

The topic of Residency 2017 is AIR KCCC. The English abbreviation of the project title indicates the direction of the project: to create in the context of international cooperation, formed by KCCC over the last decade: artists from the neighbouring countries and from non-EU countries are invited to work with local artists in the areas of public art, urbanism, creative industries, and art studies in order to developcultural consumer routes. The objective of the creators participating in the Residency Programme is to enable the community to compare and to creatively evaluate its own sociocultural environment: to evaluate the changes in the cultural field of Klaipėda over the last decade and the creators and to relate the contemporary art strategies to urbanisation and creative industries. The artistic practices of Lithuanian and foreign authors-residents will be based on the involvement of the community, its encouragement to become interested in specific places of Klaipėda and its history and, in turn, in the development of a new history and the subsequent idea of transformation of the physical location or the existing artistic context. In the project, the context (personal, political, or cultural) will become a tool for creating a community of contemporary art and visual art consumers (which is of particular importance to Klaipėda due to the small size of the cultural community and a sufficiently large segmentation of the cultural field of the city), when the members of the community can both participate in the process of creating the artistic environment and also support the vitality and relevance of the new space, as well as change it as needed, thus disseminating cultural and social innovations in different districts of  Klaipėda (e.g., graffiti projects on the walls of apartment buildings or sound art projects). Through interdisciplinary strategies, the project will monitor the  cultural communication process in the community which will enable the development and detailing of ideas conducive to the transcendence of the boundaries of social and cultural diversity - between locals and aliens, artists and audiences, art and art critic, locally national and globally ethnic things, or "ours" and "theirs", which is especially relevant to the city and region of Klaipėda where cultural innovations are often met with negative preconceptions and pessimism or are perceived superficially.