INTERVIEW WITH BOSHKO BOSKOVIC, PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF RESIDENCY UNLIMITED
10 FEB 2014 BY ASHTON CHANDLER
Interview with Boshko Boskovic, Program Director of Residency Unlimited
AC: Residency Unlimited offers an expanse range of opportunities for artists beyond providing the traditional studio model. Can you elaborate on its unique programming? How have you seen your resident artists maximize the resources available?
BB: Residency Unlimited (RU) is a residency program for artists and curators that has been in existence since 2009. Our space is located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. We provide enhanced network, production and programing support and each residency is tailored to the needs of the artist. We work in partnership with several New York based organizations (non profit galleries, art centers, commercial galleries, studio spaces) so our artists can benefit from resources that this city can offer. Our residents always maximize the resources that are available either through exposure and production of work or through our offered network support. For instance, we are currently installing a show by three of our residents, Manon Harrois (France), Maria Lynch (Brazil) and Avelino Sala (Spain) at the Abron Art Center on the lower east side of Manhattan. The artists were able to identify free materials for the exhibition through RU, receive production support through our Director of Operations, get assistants through our intern program and work with a curator who we have hired specifically for this exhibition.
AC: The residency program presents itself as more of an artistic community experience rather than only a sectioned place for making art. Can you describe what the environment is like at the RU headquarters?
BB: The RU headquarters is a unique space, within an atrium of an old church where we occupy around a 1,000 square feet. It is a multifunctional space, used as a meeting and work hub as well as an event space for exhibitions, talks, panel discussions, and screenings. We like to be available for the artists and they feel comfortable approaching us with our open space configuration and because we think it is important that there is a constant dialogue with our residents. We organize events at our space that bring the staff and artists together, such as monthly lunch meetings or happy hour every last Thursday of the month. We also create programs for artists to present their work so they can familiarize with each other’s practice or field trips to different cultural institutions in New York.
AC: As RU is located in an old church, perhaps this shows how previous paradigms can transform into something new. With a foundation already set to encourage artistic practice with dialogue, resources, and support, in what ways does the organization plan to grow?
BB: The plan for growing from the external perspective is linked to working with residents from countries or parts of the world that are not represented currently in our program. We also plan to extend our partnerships in New York so we cross pollinate with organizations that do exciting work and in return our residents can benefit from those new platforms.
AC: Can you share with us what some of your current residents are working on and any events or dialogue you have personally enjoyed lately?
BB: I am very excited about the exhibition at the Abrons Art Center titled This Exhibition Has Everything To Go Wrong by Manon Harois (France), Maria Lynch (Brazil) and Avelino Sala (Spain) curated by Marina Noronha. This six-weeks project is altered weekly where the exhibition (un)does itself to surpass distance and transform what would be commonly considered unproductive conditions into knowledge production. The freedom and emphasis that RU offers to its residents was borrowed to conceptually think of an exhibition also as a place where a pre-determined outcome should not be expected and where there is room to re-think production and propose potential solutions. From February 7 to March 16, on three consecutive Mondays when the space is closed to the public, the exhibition will be altered and a new re-configuration is going to take place in order to test how artworks react to each other within Abrons Arts Center’s main gallery.
AC: How has collaborating through your partnerships benefitted RU's participants?
BB: The collaboration through our partnerships has benefited our residents tremendously. It has offered them a richer experience of the New York art scene and they have had access to places and people that they would not have had otherwise.
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