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

Manifesta 8
Murcia, Spain 

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, 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

New Life Residency was commissioned by Manifesta 8 and curated by Chamber of Public Secrets. Residency artists invited by Wooloo: Gema Alava, Helidon Gjergji, Pedro Guirao, Clarinda Mac Low, and Matthias Neumann.

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