Reside / Sustain
The three year research project Reside / Sustain: Finnish & Russian experiences/initiatives/practices supported by the Kone Foundation which focuses on residency activity and its ecological possibilities has started within the Connecting Points-programme. The Reside / Sustain project examines the role of the artist residency in enabling sustainable development in Finland and in Russia and aims to answer questions on how can residencies provide platforms for the multiple aspects that are necessary regarding ecological action and change.
The pursuit of the project is to look at how a residency organisation can join interests and activate practical solutions alongside bringing forth thematic thinking on environmental and ecological aspects that are interlinked with wider political and social aspects. The project focuses on residency activity and its ecological possibilities – especially in Russia, with a strong emphasis on connectivity and correspondence, shared thematics and collegial transparency.
The project consists of a collaboration between three individual practitioners Miina Hujala, Adel Kim and Angelina Davydova each of whom bring to the project their specific areas of expertise as well as connections and contacts to a wider institutional framing.
Miina Hujala is an artist and curator that has been curating the Finnish-Russian residency programme Connecting Points at HIAP (Helsinki International Artist programme) from 2016. Examining the role of residencies and mobility practices involved in it has become one of the central focuses of the program.
Angelina Davydova is a journalist based in St.Petersburg who has written extensively on environmental and ecological questions and activity in contemporary Russia during several years (for instance in The Moscow Times and Kommersant) and a director of an NGO working on cooperation between Russia and the EU on environmental and climate issues.
Adel Kim is a Moscow based curator currently conducting MA thesis research on the residency field in Russia (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences + Manchester University) and also active in the new Association of Residencies in Russia.
Reside / Sustain aims at developing environmental agency in regards to residencies while enabling and examining ecological activity in Russia. As residency organisations function mainly by offering (temporal) time and a space for working – mainly to artists, art field practitioners and researchers – they can be utilised as binging points of local aspects to wider perspectives, as they activate connectivity, also within international scope, as well multiple actual formulations of sustainability connected to the ways we travel, work, live and interact. Project centres on working during the years 2021-2023 on the thematic of the versatility of sustainable development that is examined further, consisting of building collegial connections between Finland and Russia.
Connecting the thinking of sustainable practices in regards to residencies to the exploration of the current residency scene in Russia is also a possibility to think about societal issues involved in the formation of artistic practices alongside institutional settings. The solutions of energy production, consumption, travel and sustainable livelihoods are part of the everyday realities of running a residency and depend upon the motivations of maintaining this kind of platform for artistic work. A residency is a temporal setting that provides additional connectivity, which benefits the dispersal of information.