The city of Seoul, which has been leading a second-generation residency studios project headed by the Seoul Art Space, tried Network Project of Residency Spaces and Alternative art spaces in 2012, its third year of running Art Spaces, which was to organize the achievements of the some forty public and private residency spaces in Korea and present their future assignments. This project is in continuation of the series of network workshops initiated by the Gyeonggi Creation Center, National Art Studio and Seoul Art Spaces in 2010 and 2011, and stands on the accomplishments and reflections of projects which have pursued networks between residency spaces and alternative spaces on national and international scales(Alternative space-Creative Studio Art Festival 2012, Asian Arts Space Network 2011~2012).
The Network Project of Residency spaces and Alternative Art Spaces 2012 consisted of the exhibition including thirty-eight locally connected projects of twenty-three spaces nationally The Creative Attitude of that Distance. a forum for residencies-related professionals of art spaces nationally, which have been referred to as 'The Forefront of Arts support', and a book containing discussions by artists, policy makers and administrators regarding residency spaces. The book, titled 『A Congregation of Volitions for the Arts: Discussions on Residency Spaces, 2012』, is the third of the above project composition, and includes the results of an exhibition which had been executed since August of 2012, and records of two forums.
The configuration witnessed while editing this book, of the opinions of subjects forming the existence of artist residencies- artists, curators and administrators, et al.- collected through all possible means including interviews, discussions, surveys and dissertations, etc., are as follows.
Above all it is the radical changes surrounding discussions of residency spaces. The panelists who had participated in 'Conversation, It Must Not Disappear, 2010,' which was listed as a meaningful resource previously published, ardently wished that the function of residency studios of supporting the creative activities of artists would not falter, and that the residency system, whose future is unpredictable within the fast-paced trends of Korea’s cultural policy, will not disappear.
However, residency spaces around the country are currently, in 2013, consistently increasing in number as a function of the establishment of twelve local foundations for culture, and are being assigned the function of locally-based arts platforms through funds exercised by local foundations for culture on the premise of the residency spaces’ continued existence, through discussions of establishing their legal foundations and status, etc.
Together with this, what was recognized as a special and respectable element in the activities and the existence of artists, which the government should protect and which cannot be converted to economic terms, is being summoned on a reformational scale by those in the public sector such as policy-makers and educators, etc. and even local residents, who have become enlightened to the value(a generally high educational attainment, international experiences and high levels of creativity, etc.) of these groups of artists.
Here coexist the opposing positions of a resistance due to perceived mistreatment of artists by the public sector or a general response that the activities of artists must be protected regardless of any reason, and that artists must adjust to the changing social demands and cannot counteract such change. We have also confirmed the presence of artists who have been attempting collaborations with institutions or corporations in a partnership of equal footing, and artists who attempt experiments transcending traditional ones such as artist residencies without the various programs, etc., without assistance from the public sector.
The Network Project of Residency Spaces and Alternative Art Spaces has publicized, without any additions or omissions, the discussions of these enablers the arts in 2012, when despair and optimism intersect under the conditions of reservations and outlooks regarding policies and practice.
_In Publishing 『A Congregation of Volitions for the Arts: Discussions on Residency Spaces, 2012』,” Kim Hee-young(Manager of Seoul Art Space_ Geumcheon)
* Forums and Conversations with Residencies-Related Professionals
1st Residencies-Related Professionals Forum
'The Forefront of Arts Support' (October 25, 2012)
Kim Soo-yun (Manager of Seoul Art Space_Seong-buk), Kim Yu-mi (Manager of The National Art Studio), Min Woon-gi (Director of Space Beam), Suh Myung-gu (Manager of Seoul Art Space_Mullae), Wi Chang-wan (Curator of Stone and Water), Lee Myoung-hoon (Exhibition team leader of Art Space Donquixote), Lee Chang-soo (Artist of HIVE), Chung Min-ryong (President of Neutinamu Soop), Han Jae-sup(Manager of Incheon Art Platform)
2nd Residencies-Related Professionals Forum
'The Networking Fever Sweeping Over Reisdency Spaces and Alternative Spaces Around the Nation, Must it Continue?' (November 23, 2012)
Kim No-am(Art director of Culture Station Seoul 284, 2012 AR Festival), Seo Jin-seok(Director of Gallery Loop, Asian Arts Space Network 2011~2012), Kim Hee-young(Manager of Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon, Network Project of Residency Spaces and Alternative Art Spaces 2012), Ryu Dong-hyun(Art Columnist)
1st Conversation with Experts
'Discussions of the Role of Public Residency Spaces in a Rapidly Transforming Environment of Arts and Culture' (November 27, 2012)
Paik Gi-young(Pre. Manager of Gyeonggi Creation Center), Shim Kyu-whan(Pre. Manager of The National Art Studio), Ryu Dong-hyun(Art Columnist)
2nd Conversation with Experts 'The Residency Spaces, Biennales and the Post-Museum Condition' (December 14, 2012)
Kim Hong-hee(Director, Seoul Museum of Art)