Artist residences as part of the cultural exchange between Krakow and Leipzig

A report by the city of Krakow (Krakow) about the mutual exchange of artists with the partner city Leipzig in 2018. The two Leipzig artists Maria Schumacher and Sebastian Gögel had the opportunity to live and work in Krakow in April 2018. To read the article from Polish, please click on the image.

A look back at the project “New Perspectives: Leipzig meets Kraków” can be found here.



Artist residences as part of the cultural exchange between Krakow and Leipzig

In April 2018, thanks to the support of the Faculty of Culture and National Heritage of the Nicolaus Copernicus University and Leipzig International Art Program (LIAP), it was possible to organize the first edition of the residence for artists associated with the visual arts environment.

The initiated activities were an important element of the artistic exchange between Krakow and Leipzig, and their positive effects have a chance to develop cooperation between the artistic environments of both cities. The decision of the Nicolaus Copernicus University Department of Culture to finance the residence had a great impact on the intensification of contacts between partner cities in the sphere of culture.

Due to the jubilee of the 45th anniversary of partner cooperation between Krakow and Leipzig, LIA and Spinnerei Leipzig in 2018, proposals for cooperation and artistic exchange between cities were issued last year (they were received, among others, Galeria Bunkier Sztuki and Art Agenda Nowa). At the same time, the Department of Culture and National Heritage bore the idea of ​​launching, e.g. a program of literary residences run by the Villa Decius Association, residences for artists working in the field of visual arts. Thus, the residencies of German artists in Krakow were a response to the very important need to exchange artists active in this field. Creating a residency program for artists on the initiative of the NCU Department of Culture and National Heritage gives the opportunity to build a common understanding platform not only with partner cities, which include Leipzig, but also other important culture-forming centers from Europe and the world. Residential stays play a much larger role than short study visits, their goals are more complex, and measurable and more satisfying effects.

Artistic residencies are a long-known form of practicing various fields of art, outside the place of residence. Residences can last from several weeks to many months, and the organizers often provide the artist with a workplace, tools necessary to implement the project and / or a scholarship to stay in any case, however. it’s about exchange: the resident gets the opportunity to comfortably carry out their artistic activities, and in return shows its effects, e.g. prepares an exhibition or presentation, conducts workshops or a series of meetings.

Małgorzata and Marcin Gołębiewscy from the East of Art Foundation, which has been implementing the Cracow Gallery Weekend KRAKERS for 7 years, enthusiastically accepted the invitation of two German artists and the organization of their stay in Krakow. The monthly (April 1-30 2018) residence of artists associated with the Leipzig International Art Program was beneficial for both them and the organizers, by establishing contacts in both environments, joint dialogue and exchange of experiences during the preparation of exhibitions. The artists, Maria Schumacher and Sebastian Gögel had the opportunity to meet young creators, learn about Polish contemporary art, cultural institutions as well as the cultural tradition and specificity of the city.

Artists for the first time in their lives visited Poland and thus Krakow, being very impressed with the architecture and atmosphere of the city. During the residence, they had the opportunity to work on individual exhibitions. The first of them – “Krakauer Blatter” by Sebastian Gögela, took place in the Potencja gallery during this year’s Cracow Gallery Weekend KRAKERS 2018: CHANGE (April 20-22, 2018). Thanks to close cooperation with Karolina Jabłońska, Cyril Polaczek and Tomasz Kręcicki, the exhibition enjoyed great success, which resulted in placing it in the top 15 of the most attractive exhibitions of this year’s edition of the Krakow gallery weekend. The works presented at the exhibition were created in Krakow, in the studio of Stanisław Wyspiański at ul. Krowoderska 79.

Maria Schumacher’s exhibition took place on June 8-28, 2018 at the headquarters of Art Agenda Nova, and the incentive for its creation outside the residential program was the opportunity to cooperate with the Assistant Professor of the Animated Film Studio of the Graphic Arts Department of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts – dr hab. Robert Sowa. Under his supervision, Maria Schumacher and other students from Poland and abroad learned how to prepare and create stop-motion animation. Thanks to cooperation with dr hab. Robert Sowa, the artist had the opportunity to broaden her skills, which she presented at the June exhibition.

During their stay in Krakow, Maria Schumacher and Sebastian Gögel came into contact with both national and municipal institutions as well as the environment of private galleries and grass-roots initiatives focused on art. The artists visited the MOCAK Contemporary Art Museum, the “Bunkier Sztuki” Contemporary Art Gallery, the National Museum, TPSP Palace of Art. Those interested in learning the city’s topography, in addition to the very center of Kazimierz and Podgórze, also saw Nowa Huta.

Maria Schumacher, born in 1983, lives in Bucharest, Romania. She studied painting with Neo Rauch and Heribert C. Ottersbach at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig and at the National College of Art in Dublin. During studies, figurative paintings were created, which were characterized by a great internal perspective, sometimes radiating a mystical mood. A stay at the San Francisco Art Institute as part of the Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 brought a breakthrough artistic moment: working with American Expressionism, her paintings became more abstract and intuitive. Experimenting with different techniques plays a key role in Schumacher’s work.

„Krakow is a highly charming city with plenty of museum and cultural heritage to explore and I was very happy to have several weeks to experience Polish culture! I decided before coming to Krakow that I wanted to work on my second stop motion animation during my stay. I was very happy that Robert Sowa, the head of the animation department at the Academy of Fine Arts helped me with my animation project. He himself and his team were all very nice and helpful. Unfortunately they were renovating the animation department so I could not have a steady place or desk to work constantly on. In the end I managed to start my stop-motion-animation The Origin and I´m happy about this but I could have gotten more out of the 4 weeks stay with a steady working space and more english speaking support at the Academy of Fine Arts. I´m very thankful for this invitation, scholarship and the support I´ve gotten from Art Agenda Nova Gallery and the city council. I´m aware that everyone was very eager to solve any problems as quick as possible. Thank you for that! I really enjoyed my stay in Krakow a lot!” (Maria Schumacher)

Sebastian Gögel (born in 1978 in Sonnenberg) is a German artist living and working in Leipzig. Gögel is a graduate of the famous Leipzig Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, where he studied with prof. Sighard Gille. Extremely diverse in terms of creativity, working methods, themes and issues, Gögel is part of the unique tradition of German polymorphic creators / conceptualists inhabited by Blinky Palermo and Martin Kippenberger.

„My stay in Krakow was a very inspiring time for me. In the blue studio of Stanislaw Wycpianski I was able to concentrate very well on my artistic work and had a fantastic atmosphere for my project. In the first three weeks I painted the “Krakauer Blätter”. With watercolors on paper in the size of 76 x56cm 18 sheets were created. As a project before the journey I thought that I take the new encounters of people as an opportunity to portray their character and aura. I played with the idea while working on these sheets to invent new people for this city, inspired by the encounter. Galerie Potencja opened my exhibition “Krakauer Blätter” in her gallery space. The rooms of the gallery were painted blue like the Residency Atelier. So the spirit and the mood of an old bohemian time could work with my works. The people and the opening were terrific. The people and the city were a great enrichment for me and the experiences and encounters are still working in me. This painting with watercolors on paper, I will now follow up and hope to visit Krakow again soon. I would also like to thank you for the smooth running and professional work of the Art Agenda Nova team and Team Galerie Potencja. “ (Sebastian Gögel)