The idea of the residence itself was born during the pandemic, when the closure of borders and uncertainty about crossing them made international contacts cooperation much more challenging. The organizers focused their attention on foreign artists who came and live in Poland by choice, as well as on those who got caught here – by pandemic lockdown. Assuming that the unpredictable year 2020 made life and creative work really difficult for everybody, including foreign artists in Poland often exempt from systemic support and far from family and friends, the organizers proposed a residence: Overdue Time Off / Zaległy urlop. The August stay in Wrocław gives the opportunity to focus on one’s own needs: creation, reflection, loneliness, meetings, catching up and/or resting, relaxation, meditation and even boredom. Emphasis has been placed on the welfare of artists, thus drawing attention to the still current problem of non-recognition of artistic creation as professional work.
The committee including Yuriy Biley (Open Group, Wrocław), Agata Rodriguez (Rodriguez Gallery, Poznań), Waldemar Tatarczuk (Labyrinth Gallery, Lublin), Aleksandra Szymańska (Institute of Urban Culture, Gdańsk), Witek Hebanowski (Other Space Foundation, Warsaw) selected the winner – Pablo Ramírez González, congratulations! Pablo is a visual artist of Mexican origin who found himself suspended almost 3 days after his arrival in Poland. His work focuses on the relationship between leisure and work, and also refers to modern tourism. The jury paid special attention to the high quality of his work, professionalism, as well as the interesting nature of his activities involving local communities in artistic activities. González takes a research-based approach to the places where he resides and creates, which, as highlighted during the deliberations, can clearly influence the nature of the residence in Wrocław (which will bring interesting experiences not only to the artist himself, but also to the residents).
The proposal of “Overdue Time Off” met with great interest from artists representing various fields of art, from the visual sphere to performance, music, theatre and even literature. Culture Zone Wroclaw’s international activities team received over 50 applications from many Polish cities, including Poznań, Warsaw, Katowice, Zielona Góra, as well as Wrocław and the surrounding area. The largest number of applications came from artists of Ukrainian and Belarusian origin, besides, many people from both Americas (USA, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia), the Middle and Far East (China, South Korea, Bangladesh, Turkey, Israel) and Western Europe (Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal). There was also a single voice from the African continent – Egypt – which we are very happy about.
Encouraged by a huge number of high level applications and portfolios, further development of the project is being considered.
More about the project: HERE