Platform is an art organization based in Vasa, a relatively peripheral Finnish town. We run an art space and a residency to offer live experiences of different perspectives in a location where this would otherwise be limited. The last few years this has been a challenge.
We usually work with an annual theme that we also encourage our guest artists to examine. In 2022 we tried to stay positive, be cheerful, start over and start fresh. We thought that “New beginnings” would be a good theme for the year. But it turns out things didn’t really start anew, mostly everything just kept on grinding or gathering dust.
So for 2023/24 we want to try something different. Instead of giving you a theme to respond to we would like to ask a question and reflect on the artist’s role, the practice of the artist and the relevance of art work/art works. What is the relevance of your work and artworks and how does your practice relate to the Platform residency question?
There are no wrong answers and we definitely don’t want you to feel that you have to justify anything to us. We (Platform Board) are trying to figure it out and are struggling:
Sara: “To me, it’s difficult to answer without jumping into more of an existential discussion. It comes down to finding purpose, both on a personal level and on a common human level. We can survive without art, but what value does that existence ultimately have? To evolve we need to reflect and art (work/works) functions as that pause for thoughts. It’s in a common human interest to form societies where there is room and a strive for pausing and reflecting. In a crisis we don’t have time to think – only act, so for me the possibility to be able to work with art is a sign of a healthy society. The relevance of art works is perhaps how well this reflection on society resonates with the rest of us. The relevance and value of art work and art works are not the same thing. Every piece of art is an individual piece of documentation on societal evolution and a personal piece of our shared story. How we value art work and individual art works reflects us as a society.”
Johan: “The relevance of art works and art work. It’s way more relevant than a lot of other work or at least less bad than a lot of other stuff done in the name of work. Oh, I made the assumption that relevancy = good. Maybe this isn’t correct?”
Geir: “I think that one of the strengths in art work is the fact that you deal with uncertainties, to handle the nonsensical and create a space for it is necessary. With the nonsensical and the uncertain I’m not referring to being absurd for the sake of it nor the creative buzzwords of the day, but more generally to the mode of thinking and criticality that comes with art work. The revelations that might come with being comfortable in delving into the uncertain. Though I think it’s hard to write and think about art and art work with all the realities surrounding being an artist as the mind wants to go on to ramble about tangents.”
Jenni: “We picked such a complex question this year and it’s hard to articulate an answer in just a few sentences. Therefore I look forward to discussing the theme with you when you arrive for your residency! But let’s say that the relevance of artworks and art work changes by time, context, audience and artist. What’s the relevance of your art work(s)? “
For the year 2023 we have 3-4 slots in our residency and we are particularly looking for:
– Artists who react to and are interested in working with local issues
– Artists who work with place-specific projects.
– Artists who are comfortable working independently in a small town.
Accommodation, travel expenses (one return trip, cheapest possible) and a working grant (approx. 300 € per week). We also offer a small production budget of 1000 €, which the artist may reimburse by presenting original receipts of purchases, specifically connected to the project produced during the residency. The apartment is located near the city center in Vaasa. There is a bike, a set of tools and equipment available for the artist. There is wireless broadband access in the apartment. Platform does not at the moment house a studio, however a project space in the city center is available. The planned projects have to take this into account, space can be rented or borrowed if needed for the realization of the project and has to be negotiated in advance. The artist is given a contact person who is in charge of necessary arrangements, if any additional assistance is needed it has to be agreed upon well in advance.
We ask the artist to realize a project, which can be presented either during the residency or at a later stage. The artist is expected to give a public talk, performance or workshop about his/her/their work or an introduction to themselves at the beginning of the residency. We expect the artist to be able to communicate in English, Swedish or Finnish. We require the artist to spend at least 80% of the residency’s duration in Vaasa and the working grant is proportional to days spent in Vaasa. The artists are required to submit documentation of the produced project to Platform, as well as press release / information text / informal report or equivalent.
Please follow these instructions closely. Applications not following these requirements will not be considered. We require the artist to send a digital application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Residency Application 2023’ by the 10th of July 2022. The application should be one PDF document with your full name as the title of the document. Don’t paste any relevant information in the email that is not part of the PDF.
Please include the following in the PDF:
-An informal project plan OR motivation letter, max one page. The aim of the letter should be describing the kind of project you imagine doing in Vaasa, your motivation to apply for this residency and your expectations, how you see that your artistic work connects to the question of “The relevance of artworks and art work?” The project plan should also include your preferred period of time, and state if the time period is relevant for the project as well as clearly state what time/ times that aren’t suitable.
-Descriptions and images of 5 projects or art works. For videos, please add direct links to websites in the PDF.
-A CV of max two pages, including: name, date and place of birth, current location as well as email and phone number.
The application shall occupy no more than 12 pages and 5 mb. The board of Platform will make the selection. Only chosen artists will receive a notification about the selection during end of July 2022. The board is under no obligation to justify the selection. If you have questions about the residency please ask them well before the deadline.
10th of July
By the end of July
-5 previous works, pictures and text