The Substation Residency: Dislocating the Studio is a pilot project that is structured as a challenge to the space of the studio. The artist’s studio or Atelier in its modernist incarnation is a pseudo sacred place where rarefied art objects are produced. Implicit in this configuration is a hierarchical, elitist and commodity driven view of the fine arts. Objects within the studio are open to manipulation, they are transitory and in process of becoming. Once the object leaves the studio however, it becomes fixed as Artwork. This standard operation of the studio and artwork is one that has increasingly been challenged and rearranged as artistic practice becomes less tied to object production and more orientated to processes of temporality and relational encounters. The studio is not simply an atelier but can look more like a library, a playground, a meeting point, a laboratory or even a research facility.
Important to this critical and questioning project is the concept of collaboration. Residencies by two or more artists/curators will be favoured. The 2011 residency will host two one-month projects as well as a series of shorter two-week residencies. While the 2011 program will be curated by invitation, the long-term goal of the residency is to develop a network of organisations and practitioners on the continent who would contribute by participation or nomination of participants spanning the broad categories of practitioners such as artists, curators, theorists, writers, performers, filmmakers and researchers. Ultimately, in the future, the project will run via the submission of proposals, open to practitioners who are engaged in aesthetic or conceptual processes that are critically driven and can be situated in a meaningful dialogue with the work that the WITS Division of Visual Art engages with.