What do residents of January 2014 do in Nida Art Colony?

In the very end of 2013 most of Nida Art Colony studios were left epmty. But…good news! The New Year has brought to NAC a new intern Natacha Paganelli and four new residents – Sanna Marander and Niklas Tafra from Sweden, Rodrigo RSM from Mexico (currently studying in Estonia) and Kalin Lindena from Germany. Besides these four newcomers, two residents – Maricel Delgado (Peru) and Luisa Nobrega (BR) – continue their residence until the end of January 2014.

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Photo by Rytis Šeškaitis

There are few things that should be pointed out about the present group of residents in NAC. Firstly, almost all newcomers arrived to Nida for only one-month-long residence and by the end of January all present residents would be leaving (except Kalin, who is staying until the middle of February). Secondly, all present artists in NAC are residing individually. Thirdly, as three artists in residence come from Latin America, Spanish became the third most heard and spoken language in the Colony.

Sanna Marander’s (SE) practice is stumblingly looking for the reason behind artistic practice, or perhaps even of utterances in general, how and why we utter things. Her work takes the form of texts, exhibitions and performances and has been presented, for example, at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Gävle Konstmuseum, Gallerie Invaliden in Berlin, Galleria Vistamare in Pescara, Italy.

Meanwhile Niklas Tafra’s (SE) work is concerned with strategies of avoidance and of involvement, preferrably both at the same time. His works take various forms and has been presented at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Apiary Gallary in London, Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Vita Kuben in Umeå, Note On in Berlin, inter alia. Sometimes these two artists work together, sometimes they don’t. At Nida they will work on a film, a text, another film, a performance, another text, an object, and yet another text (in that order).

Kalin Lindena (DE) lives in Berlin. Her artistic work includes drawings, sculpture, video art and so on. When we asked Kalin, why she decided to come to Nida in the middle of winter, she answered that ‘The city is always calling, the moments in which you close up to your work sometimes are hard to find.’ So in Nida she hopes to get a healthy distance and deepen thoughts of past and oncoming projects. Kalin has brought a lot of paper and colours, let’s see what happens… To see some of Kalin’s works please press here, here and here.

Previously presented artist Luisa Nobrega (BR) has been already staying in the Colony for two months. During this time she has been doing several telepathic meetings with people in different places of the world – at a pre-settled time she and another person attempt to send a message to one another. After the meeting the participants are asked to send a register of the message they have received, either through text, images, video and/or sound – success and failure here don't matter so much. The artist has been organizing this material in forms of a video and a small publication. What is more, Luisa is a very collaborative artist – in December she has taken part in several projects of previous NAC residents Petr Zhukov and Taavi Suisalu.

Another resident Rodrigo RSM (MX) artistically studied Violin and Music Theory in Mexico City, later he focused a bit on Piano and Musical Composition, but since 2011 he is particularly interested in bridges between Art, Technology and Science, and how they overlap, complement and/or refuse each other. In Nida Rodrigo is planning to develop an artistic/quasi-scientific research on the effect (and affect) of sound and music in plants. He planted two corianders into small plastic vessels, one of them will grow with music being played directly to the soil and the other one – without any music. Rodrigo entitled this project "Sound Engineered Organisms" as referring to, and probably criticizing, contemporary ways of altering bio organisms like Genetically Engineered Vegetables. 

Peruvian Maricel Delgado (PE) continues her stay in the Colony until the end of January. This artist is interested in the notion of distance and cogitates it in various discourses. During her residence she has been collecting material for three different works. For instance, Maricel made a video about distance in communication – she filmed a bunch of colonists sitting around the table and talking to each other in their mother tongue. Maricel is also taking a lot of boring pictures, as she says. She is opposing to the site specificity and through the photographs of various architectural objects in Nida, Klaipėda or elsewhere she is showing that the distance in time and the prevalence of the same architecture style dissolves the local identity of various sites. The object in the picture could be anywhere – in Nida, in Lima, in Ukraine etc. The third little project of Maricel is a collection of three different data about exact geographical location – the latitude, the image from the Google Maps and her own photo of that place.

Maricel’s companion Fernando Prieto (PE), who had gone back to Lima couple of days ago, was working on the relation of architecture and nature through incoming light. He tried to make it present and play with it by using sculptural volumes. Fernando folded simple sheets of paper to various shapes and sticked them to the wall in the studio. The incoming light created soft shadow sculptures that were moving according the change of daytime.

The sculptural installation by F. Prieto 

Besides new residents, the Colony has one more new inhabitant – a new intern Natacha Paganelli from France who is going to replace a former intern Eglė and stay in NAC for half a year. In 2013 Natacha has already lived in Lithuania, Vilnius, for seven months as an artist-in-residence. Her artistic work has always sought to incorporate an audience (its environment and surrounding atmosphere), its expectations and knowledge as well as collective memory. Although Natacha is a visual artist, here, in NAC, she is going to be on the other side and work as a staff member. According to her, the best way to learn about the country is to work there. She is willing to understand the mechanism of such a structure as Nida Art Colony, to learn more about curating, coordinating and daily life maintenance.

It appears that those few snowy cold days in the beginning of December were just a winter’s joke. However, now the things seem to be more serious and the cold should stay longer. Holiday chaos is finally over and little by little the routine in the Colony is back on track – colonists are gathering for collective dinners, watching films together, playing ping-pong, cooking something national (oh, what an unforgettable taste of Peruvian ceviche!), celebrating birthdays, bathing in sauna and so on. Bright sky, mild wind, murmuring sea and squeaky snow… Come to visit us!