Re–Directing: East 2018
Between 3 June and 8 July 2018 U–jazdowski is hosting the sixth edition of Re–Directing: East, an international curatorial seminar focused on the subject of hospitality.
Meeting people, exchanging experience, learning from one another and taking part in collective critical research: those are the primary tools of artistic residencies at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. The participants of this year’s seminar have been singled out in an open call and come from a number of places all over the world: Brazil, Russia, Estonia, Poland and UK. They are all active within the broadly defined field of curatorial practice, they work both for institutions and outside of them. Their working methods are crossovers between practice, theory, activism and education.
The very name re–directing, meaning “reorientation,” indicates the challenge of creating an environment where intellectual exchange beyond political clashes is possible. The word “east” alludes to the original idea behind artistic residencies, which were first offered to participants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Re–Directing: East will include a month-long debate on hospitality within the context of curatorial, artistic and institutional practice. Is genuine hospitality even possible in artistic environments? How can hospitality and care be applied as resistance strategies against oppressive structures and systems? In these times we live in, is it possible for an artistic endeavour to bring about real change?
Hospitality has for years been an important motif of the residencies held at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. U–jazdowski both plays host to Polish and international artists, providing them with curatorial support in their research and productions, and organises stays abroad for Polish artists.
Analysing the etymology of the French word for “hospitality” Jacques Derrida described the ambivalence within that term. The Latin word hospes describes both a host, and someone who is a guest, a stranger. Hostis, on the other hand means a newcomer, and an enemy. Derrida came up with the neologism hostipitalité (“foespitality”), stressing the complexity of the relation between the host and the guest.
Institutions offering residencies keep adjusting their work methods in response to artistic practices. The artists and the curators, on the other hand, ever more often cease to be indifferent towards modern economic and social issues. In these times of intensifying migration, social divisions, growing nationalist discourse and populist language dividing people into “us” and “the other”, it is worthwhile to revisit the very concept of hospitality and investigate its potential in terms of art and art institutions.