Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen is a post-graduate center for production, research, mediation in the fields of visual arts and art theory. Within the framework of the fellowship program, the Künstlerhaus offers a platform that facilitates the development and production of artistic and art-theoretical projects in a critical context. At the same time, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen creates a forum for direct exchange between professionals – artists, theoreticians, critics, and curators – from the region and abroad as well as a point of interaction with local publics of interest. Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen is affilated with the Tyrolean Artists’ Association, the major association of visual artists from the region. Büchsenhausen brings together two programs under one roof. On the one hand, it is the site of the International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory, which invites artists and art-theorists to come to Innsbruck for one or two semester to work on their projects. On the other hand, it is the location of studios for artists based in Tyrol, who are seeking a studio in an interesting environment.
Spaces for Artistic Thinking and Critical Knowledge Production
A residence-based fellowship program, like the one organized at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, represents a relevant and effective institutional framework for critical practices, because it provides a sufficiently neutral environment and guarantees autonomy for the practices within that space. Unlike other art institutions, a residency not only unites production and representation under one roof, it also melds these together institutionally. This contextual coextensivity is indigenous to a residency. This means that the processes of investigation, production, and reflection themselves become the subject of questions about representation, causing the art and art-related production (theory) to experience, and condition, other forms of representation than in the canonical White Cube. Additionally, a residency offers, temporarily, time and means to artists and theoreticians. This tends to result in preproduction investigation taking on a central, if not exclusive, position in the array of activities engaged in during the residency. If we take into account the diverse practices of acquiring and processing knowledge within this context, it becomes clear that investigation constitutes a further field that exists in a coextensive relationship to production and representation. Furthermore, the notions of temporariness and provisionalism play a crucial role in this context. These factors are inherent to any residency. As the parameter that determines the frame, they not only decisively influences the participants’ own strategies, they also enables institutional self-critique. The processes of artistic production and reflection that take place under these conditions, in turn, determine the forms of representation the art and its discourse take, which in this case appear heterogeneous, fragmented, and transitory. For this reason, I have proposed discursive and performative formats to represent the artistic practices in this kind of environment. These formats seem necessarily incomplete and transitory, since they themselves reflect only a snapshot of the current state of affairs at the moment they were produced. This is also their strength, because through the openness necessitated by their process, they appeal to a responsive audience that can potentially contribute to the process itself. This introduces the possibility of a displacement, in the sense of a coming together of positions from which participants and non-participants, those affected and those addressed, each speak. The knowledge produced in this way is at the same time also inherently an act of subjectivization. This is what makes this kind of knowledge fundamentally different from academic knowledge, which can easily be instrumentalized by others for ideological or economic purposes because of its normative and standardized quality.
International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen