The world’s first non-visual artist residency: one week in total darkness
Blind assistants in the artist residency space – these women guided the artists during their time in darkness, and collaborated on the artworks produced.
Murcia, Spain, 2010
Images: Wooloo / Human Hotel
When we travel, we become blind. Our foremost task is to remain humble throughout our time away from home.
– Sixten, Human Hotel Co-founder
New Life Residency
New Life Residency was the world’s first non-visual residency program for artists. The residency was organized by Wooloo as their contribution to Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, and took place in fall of 2010 in the Region of Murcia, Spain.
Wooloo selected five artists, from an international Open Call on Wooloo.org, to participate in New Life Residency, living and working for one week in a completely dark exhibition space. Each artist was paired with a local blind or visually impaired Murcian assistant to collaborate with.
Welcoming visitors to the exhibition space. Murcia, 2010
In cooperation with his/her assistant, each artist used the week-long residency to create a non- visual guided tour of the space and his/her experience of living and working there. The guided tours were open to the biennial audience and took place on the last day of each residency.
Along with the guided tours, the five selected proposals were exhibited at MURAM (the Regional Museum of Modern Art) in Cartagena, where they were on view throughout Manifesta 8 (from 7 October 2010 to 9 January 2011).
Visitors meet with one of the six assistants. Murcia, 2010
“The clothing and textile industry is one of the richest and most productive ones on the planet. Fast-fashion has been taking over the world in the last few decades, being the exact opposite of what can be considered sustainable living.
Is it possible to merge the ever-changing multibillion-dollar clothing industry and its need for fashionable outfits with sustainability?”
“My freedom ends where yours begins” is one of the very well-known rules that define the boundaries of our lives. Sometimes, however, these boundaries are too tight and we feel the need of going beyond and experiment, try, fail, improve, try again to fully understand what our role in the world is.
What is more important, then? The realization of our own personal talents and mission or the adherence to the boundaries of the society? Is a certain level of selfishness excusable if it is needed to accomplish our mission on this planet or is collective freedom a unbreakable ethical barrier?”
“Oscar Wilde used to say “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.“. Love can however be more complex than that, as it is one of the most thrilling, intense and yet frightening feelings you can experience. Sometimes, it can even turn into a way to escape from your own chaotic and paralyzing thoughts and emotions.”