What a Residency Be? is a ten-episode video series on hypothetical residencies, how they could look and what they have the capacity to be. Created by Mitchell Gilbert Messina in collaboration with artists from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg’s programme, each weekly episode takes a proposed artist-in-residence model and unpacks its broader implications, thematics and logistics within a minute.
Episode One | An Introduction
In this episode Mitchell introduces the series by elaborating on his initial impetus to explore residency models: His uncertainty as to whether he was on an official Pro Helvetia residency or not.
Episode Two | Travelling Abroad with Rudi van der Merwe
Rudi van der Merwe proposes a residency where the artist must backpack and barter their way to the hosting destination, raising the broader question of freedom of movement.
(This series was conceptualised and developed prior to the current global pandemic)
episode three | Trading Places with Sarah Elena Müller
Sarah Elena Müller proposes a residency where one artist swaps lives with another, broaching the topic of authorship and the benefits of relinquishing control.
Episode Four | Tag You’re It with Lineo Segoete
Lineo Segoete proposes a residency where childhood games are revisited as spaces for collective imagining, reframing the playground as a hallowed space for improvisation and intuition.
Episode Five | Job Shadowing with Jul Dillier
Jul Dillier outlines a residency where artists spend time integrating into local workforces to better understand the ecosystem of their surrounding society, considering the benefits of reforming the arts, encouraging a cross-pollination, and standing in solidarity with workers.
Episode Six | Making Mxnifestos with Goldendean
Goldendean proposes a residency where hosted workshops use collaborative collage to produce a collective vision and mxnifesto of action, considering collage’s inherent capacity to produce meaning from the interaction between unexpected and diverse sources.