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Residencies of research and artistic production at Huarte and Barcelona

IDENSITAT + Centro Huarte /2024

Two five-week arts project residencies within the social contexts of Huarte and Barcelona, to take place between the months of July and November 2024.

IDENSITAT and CENTRO HUARTE announce an open call for submissions for two investigation and production projects within the Transversal Aesthetics / LIVING IN FIRE programme, one in the local context of the river Arga as it passes through Huarte, Villava and Burlada, and one in the local context of the river Besós as it passes through Barcelona - Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs. The projects will take place within hybrid residencies, exploring material or immaterial, temporal or atemporal, real or imaginary conditions, and the specific nature of these local contexts making use of processes which activate social space. Each residency will combine an on-site presence, and previous and subsequent remote work. The two projects will be selected in an open call for submissions. and the residencies will take place between July and November 2024.

Transversal Aesthetics is a programme for investigation and experimentation on the intersection between art, mediation and social space; establishing a place of confluence between artistic practices as a vehicle for critical research; mediation activities as a vehicle for the production of content, interaction and learning transfer; and the urban context as a vehicle for connecting specific themes of work to a specific active social space relevant to these themes. Transversal Aesthetics takes shape in medium-sized urban contexts, understood as generators of social, cultural and environmental spaces at the boundary between rural and urban; a programme founded upon the cross-disciplinary dimension of art, in order to combine experiences and activities which impact upon unique elements on the basis of common themes and strategies shared among various participating agents.  There have been five previous editions of the Transversal Aesthetics programme by Idensitat and Centro Huarte, each of them focusing on a specific theme: "Peripheral Ecosystems", "Ecosystems of Leisure", "Ecosystems of Fiction", and "Immunity ~ Community", and “In the Air”. This new edition will explore the idea of "Living In Fire" as a metaphorical element or common theme. making a connection between the local context of the Arga river (Huarte) and that of the river Besòs (Barcelona).

Idensitat and Centro Huarte are issuing a joint open call for submissions in order to select two artistic projects which specifically address the complexity of dealing with the concept of Living In Fire in contemporary thought.

This open call offers applicants the possibility of exploring and developing artistic projects which focus upon the concept of fire as a working theme. The concept of fire here is subject to multiple interpretations, in which the rivers Arga and Besòs contextualise the projects, which manifests fire both as an energetic element, and as a devastating force.

Fire evokes a wide range of emotions and meanings in the human experience. From its vital role in our daily survival to its transformative and destructive capacity in the symbolic realm, fire remains one of the most powerful and mysterious elements in nature. Its presence connects us to the primitive, wild, celebratory festival tradition, and evinces, in equal measure, our capacity to create and destroy.

Symbolically, fire is often seen as an agent of transformation, alluding to its ability to destroy the old in order that the new may grow. In alchemy, fire is a symbol of purification and the process of transmutation of matter.

In many cultures, fire represents the life force, passion and determination. In various mythologies, the deities associated with fire are often regarded as possessing great creative and destructive power. In many traditions and religious rites, fire is used as a means of purification and protection. From ancient sacred fire ceremonies to candles lit in religious rituals, fire is seen as an agent that cleanses and protects against negative energies.

Metaphorically, fire represents the light of wisdom that dispels the darkness of ignorance, becoming a symbol of enlightenment and knowledge. In the context of human relationships, fire can represent the ardour of love and emotional connection between people, but also anger, desire, or impulsive creative energy.

Revolution, change, destruction, violence, control, manipulation … Fire may take on various political implications, from its use as a symbol of change and resistance, to its role in destruction and manipulation.

Transversal Aesthetics / LIVING IN FIRE examines the tensions, paradoxes or connections generated by the concept FIRE, while also associating these concept with a river, or its urban configuration; following the course of the river Arga as it passes through the towns of Huarte, Villava and Burlada; or the mouth of the River Besòs as it flows into the Mediterranean, passing neighbourhoods and towns in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. In each area, a specific project will be activated providing a creative approach, and contributing a new perspective to resolve the tension generated within the key theme of “Living in Fire”.

We are interested in the multiple imaginaries of fire; as the essence of everyday life, as a symbolic element of transformation and purification, or as a potential agent of devastation and extermination. Fire needs air in order to exist, and together with air, water, and earth, it formed part of the four elements of the classical tradition, although in contemporary complexity, fire is considered to be the visible part of the process of transformation of combustible matter in its incandescent state. It remains present in celebrations, festivities and traditions, but also in natural and many human-induced conflagrations, such as wars, deliberate arson attacks, and other forms of planned destruction. In these times of climate change, policies related to fire have become central, with a general will of shaping a better future. We would like to open up the perspective of “Living in Fire”, to a political-poetic approach to build our relationship with the local environment, beyond (but also with) air, water, and earth.

The town of Huarte, where the Huarte Contemporary Art Centre is located, stands next to the towns of Burlada and Villava on the outskirts of Pamplona. The three localities follow the course of the river Arga, which has generated historical and cultural links between the three towns. In recent years, the boundaries between natural, rural and urban areas in these towns have been modified, due to urban spread and population growth, the conversion of allotment gardens into leisure spaces, and the flow and periodic overspills of the river.  This geographical enclave, framed by the flow of the river in connection with its natural and urban ecosystems, defines the specific working context.

BARCELONA: The working context for this project is the area which comprises neighbourhoods in the metropolitan area near the mouth of the Besòs river (Trinitat Vella, Bon Pastor, Baró de Viver, La Sagrera, Sant Andreu). These neighbourhoods are located on the edge of the city in an area characterised by multiple connections to the north of the metropolitan zone. A densely populated area which has deepened its relationship with the river since its recovery as a natural space, becoming one of the main green areas of both the neighbourhoods and the metropole (Barcelona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Adrià de Besòs and Montcada i Reixac). In this case, the mouth of the Besós, as it touches upon the various urban enclaves, defines the working context in Barcelona.

Transversal Aesthetics will follow three common strands; organising a temporary artistic residence, with the participation of an artist or a collective as creator and researcher within the context; setting up a local node involving various regional agents and associations; and organising a transfer of knowledge and learning related to other fields and subjects, in a suite of measures which we will denominate as Mediation Activities. These three strands may cross over, they may work in unison, or they may run in parallel, so that at least two of them will work together on the same project.

The local nodes may comprise a number of agents, organisations or individuals with an interest in participating in the project, or who are associated with the social, artistic or research aspects of the theme. These nodes will be formed prior to the development of the artistic project and/or mediation activities, and may vary in character, or may expand as time goes on. The artist or collective must propose a project involving the node, and must add their own agents to the network, who may become more or less involved, depending upon their role within the project’s framework. The project will be carried out in a triangular fashion, proposing activities or interventions in public space, open presentations, and production of results.

Selected projects must investigate and explore aspects relevant to the context in order to activate working processes which address the reference points of the thematic field; from imagining other possible ecosystems, to analysing existing ecosystems in order to address certain realities, or to construct fictions that generate other possible realities. The territorial node, and activities of mediation, will involve local collectives and individuals interested in working within the proposed thematic field. The selected projects will develop their work from this predefined local contexts and theme.

IDENSITAT and CENTRO HUARTE will each offer a residency to an artist or a collective to develop a project within the social contexts of Huarte and Barcelona. The residencies have been conceived as hybrid, combining on-site presence with any off-site work to ensure the completion of the project. The on-site period will last approximately five weeks, to be carried out between July and November 2024, t.b.d. according to the availability of the selected artist or collective and the promoting organisations, depending on the project.

The call is aimed at artists interested in developing an artistic project within the social contexts in which the proposal is set, and on the specific theme proposed. Proficiency in Spanish and / or Basque will be valued positively. In the event that English should be the main language used in the project, translation should be considered as part of the production in those activities that may require translation services.

The selected proposals will each be granted 2300 euros in fees and expenses, and up to 1400 euros for production. Organisation covers accommodation, and there are travel grants available up to 400€.

From this call for submissions, two proposals will be selected for the two temporary residencies, one in Huarte and the other in Barcelona. The aim of each residency is to define a research and creation project based on the proposed theme. The results may be presented publicly in each of the working contexts, according to the nature of each project.

The selection process will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will consist of the submission of proposals, from which a minimum of four will advance to the second phase of selection. The second phase will consist of an interview with the shortlisted artists in order to find out more about the motivation for applying, the proposal itself, and the proposal’s affinities with the thematic field and the framework offered by the organisers. From this second phase, two projects will be selected, and the successful applicants will be invited to take part in the residencies in Huarte and Barcelona. The panel for the selection process will include a member of each organisation, and Alfonso Borragan as guest panellist.

Phase 1
Proposals should be sent in digital format using the specific form, filling in each of the required fields, attached in a single document using PDF format (maximum 8 MB), which must  include:

- Proposal / pre-project: a written document defining the basic lines of the project (3 page max), indicating a working methodology which takes into account the bases indicated above, objectives, actions, possibilities for formalisation and timetable of work.

- A portfolio with a selection of a maximum of 4 previous projects or artworks, contextualising each of them through texts and images, to facilitate their understanding (if necessary, including links to websites).

- Short text answering the question, “What is your motivation for participating in this project?”

- Summary CV(s) of person(s) involved in the project proposal, highlighting relevant aspects related to the proposal. In the case of groups, a representative must be specified (maximum 2 pages per person).

- Contact details (name, telephone number, e-mail and postal address).

Phase 2
- Interview with the members of the selection panel, which may include more than one member of each organising body, in addition to the guest panellist.

The deadline for the first phase of the open call is 27/05/2024 / 23:59 (CET time)

The date of the interview will be communicated to the shortlisted applicants no later than one month after the closing date of the call for applications.

Proposals may be written in Spanish, Basque, Catalan or English.

According to these rules, the selection of projects will be made between Idensitat and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte with one external guest. Points to be considered:

The quality, the clarity, and the relevance of the proposal

Originality in accordance with the main theme of the open call

The adaptability of the proposal to the specific local contexts

How this project fits into the applicants career path

The project will be carried out within a five-week residency, divided into one stay of 1 or 2 weeks, and a later period of 3 or 4 weeks’ stay, the details to be specified taking into consideration the availability of the selected artist or group and the promoting organisations.

The residency will take place between 15th of August and the end of November 2024. The spaces available for the activities and presentation of results of the project will be, apart from the Centro Huarte itself, the venues managed by the Mancomunidad de la Comarca de Pamplona: the Batán, and the Molino de San Andrés (Atarrabia- Villava). 

The residency will take place between July and November 2024 (excluding the month of August)

Idensitat will make its workspace at Fabra i Coats- Fàbrica de Creació available for the duration of the residency. Activities and presentations within the premises may be subject to the availability of the centre spaces.

Depending on the nature of the projects, the organising bodies may propose meetings between the two selected artists outside the residency dates.

Submitting the entry form indicates that you agree with the terms and conditions outlined within this open call.
The selected artworks will remain the intellectual property of the artist(s). IDENSITAT and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte, as promoters of TRANSVERSAL AESTHETICS – LIVING IN FIRE,  may reproduce and distribute, by means of on-line publications or in paper format, the whole or part of the programme, while always citing the corresponding credits for creators and participating agents. IDENSITAT and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte will archive all documentation generated as part of this open call, as well as that arising from the development of the project as a whole.



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