Enter Text residency program
Catherine Boulle
Cape Town, South Africa

Live art research, writing, podcasting

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I am a writer and researcher from South Africa, based at the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA), University of Cape Town. My research is on contemporary live art in South Africa, and I’m currently producing a podcast that features in-depth interviews with South African artists and curators who perform or curate live, interdisciplinary works.

The idea for the podcast came out of the book 'Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa,' which I co-edited with Director of the ICA, Jay Pather. The book, published early this year, was initiated in response to a literary vacuum: before 2019, there was no text dedicated to live art in South Africa. There was also no substantive discourse to speak about the politically resonant form that it takes in our country. The book sought to begin filling this gap.

The vision for the podcast is to extend the work begun by 'Acts of Transgression,' but in a more accessible manner – free from academic jargon and freely available for download. We want to immerse listeners in the ways in which artists see, think, respond and create, and to consider how the talking and thinking through of complex performative artworks becomes a facet of the work itself.
Ayoto
New York, USA

photography, visual arts

www

I am curious in the art of living. How does one relate to another, how does one love another, how does one love oneself? The bonds which nodes are drawn together, how are they structured? Why are we attracted to that which we are drawn to? The space between anxiety and arousal, a certain kind of blissful whisper, these are the kind of evocations which I am curious about.

On the other end of this spectrum is the question of separation and alienation, that which terrorizes and inspires me. Together, what attracts, and what is causing separation, how does one achieve union, ultimately to transcend the individual and find atonement.
Carolina Wheat
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Writing, drawing, & sound

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"Writer // Curator // Artist // Soothsayer"

Carolina Wheat (American b. 1974) currently works in Brooklyn. Born in Detroit, bred in surrounding wetlands and vacant industrial wastelands, her writing, soundscapes, visual art-work, and curating attempts to tap into spirits. Playing with ancestry and historical temporary dance places, she incorporates a supporting mystic yet scientific artistic expression system.

With a BFA in textile surface design from the UofM and an MFA in Writing from SAIC, early on she realized working for the NYC fashion industry wasn’t as cool as fabricating installations for the Detroit electronic rave scene in the mid-90's. Later, her deep dark love of vocals, sound, music and radio transmitted her to volunteer for WCBN, FreeRadioSAIC and was one of the founding members of CHIRP (Chicago Indie Radio Project).  

She has exhibited her textile and sound work, as well as curated numerous politically and socially conscientious exhibitions in Detroit, Berlin, London, Chicago, and New York. She is one of the 10 original founding members of the Nasty Women Exhibition and continues to work with artists/collectors as activists Internationally with the gallery she co-owns and operates, Elijah Wheat Showroom. Carolina has been nomadically curating innovative exhibitions for the last 25 years in creative spaces. As a leader in Higher Education admissions, she has professionally fostered the careers of thousands of aspiring artists. She and her creative expertise has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, Hyperallergic, Fast Company, MAAKE Mag, The Brooklyn Rail, The Guardian, China Daily, among others.

October
Lucas Southworth
Baltimore, USA

Creative Writing, fiction

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"Lucas Southworth is a teacher, writer, and recreational tennis player in Baltimore, MD."

I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and am currently a professor of writing at Loyola University Maryland. My collection of stories, Everyone Here Has a Gun, won AWP’s Grace Paley Prize (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013). Recently, I have started focusing on using creative writing toward social justice and community engagement pursuits, working with a literary non-profit in Baltimore, a branch of the Baltimore public library, and in a public school.

My fiction tends to investigate spaces between form or genre. My interest lies in blurring or layering a range of styles, structures, and voices to explore how stories are consumed, written, and dreamed. I am also interested in ways sudden disruptions of the familiar, the traditional, or the cliché can unsettle, alter, and ultimately add to the reading experience. I am working on a novel now, for example, that uses jagged transitions between science fiction, speculative, and literary realism to represent the rifts caused by a murder in a seemingly safe space. Ultimately, it focuses on characters dealing with trauma and shock and then surfacing from it as they assign new symbols of safety. The book is interested in both the incredible fragility of the human experience and how recovery often happens deep in the meaning-making apparatus. I am also finishing a new collection of short stories that studies characters living on a spectrum of silence—from the voiceless to the disenfranchised to the severely quiet or reclusive. Characters include D.B. Cooper and Buster Keaton.

Julie Wills
USA

Interdisciplinary drawing & sculpture

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My work is inspired by the tools of desire: wishes, hopes, pleas for divine or cosmic intercession, and superstitious rites. These are the things we turn to when something is desperately wanted but cannot be achieved through hard work or other rational means. I create work about strategies for emotional survival—and particularly, the strategies we utilize when there is no logical course forward.

Much of my recent work incorporates a longstanding interest in text, signification, legibility and poetic language. I create lists that present themselves as a rational ordering of like items, but carry an emotional weight through metaphor and implied narrative. I frequently draw imagery from celestial sources; the moon, stars and cosmos recur throughout in varying forms. Stars fall from the sky, disrupting the known order of the universe. Through such imagery I explore constancy and volatility, current conditions, and hope for an unrealized but longed-for future.
Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya
Sydney, Australia / Moscow, Russia

Prose, poetry, visual poetry
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"Applying formal restrictions to texts, calling for freedom for writers"

I am a writer and an artist with natural science background. I prefer texts that make a reader think, texts with inner layers, texts with non-linear path of reading. Having a mathematical education myself, I practise combinatorial writing / writing in formal restrictions, in poems and visual poems as well as in prose. The subjects I am interested in vary from ancient mythology and history of Crimea, amazing Australian nature and its cultural heritage, to contemporary social, cultural and political situation, human rights, feminism, and especially freedom of expression. Though this is a wide spectre of topics, they all call to me as a part of my motherland history and family heritage, my own life story, as well as the contemporary social and political situation.

I write prose and poetry and make visual artwork using my knowledge of mathematics and formal literary restrictions as developed by French group OuLiPo and other authors of ergodic literature like Vladimir Nabokov, Italo Calvino, Mark Danilevsky etc. I am attracted to intellectual joy and gaining new knowledge from texts. This reading should not be not easy, with hidden riddles and puzzles without clues, but its comprehension provides a delight as finding a way through a maze.

I am also interested in visual representation of beautiful mathematical objects like polyhedra, labyrinths, and visual illusions. And I love sharing my knowledge and passion for knowledge with children and adult learners.
Snježana Banović
Zagreb, Croatia

theatre & cultural history


"Writing is my favourite space and state; my therapy, my battle and the best way to carry on..."

Croatian theater director, writer, theatre and culture historian. Full professor at the Academy of Dramatic Art at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia. She is as well theater management and production authority and an expert on national, regional and European cultural policy. She directed in the period 1990 - 2015 more than 50 plays, operas and special events. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of Zagreb and published three books on theatre (State and its Theatre, Official Exit, Theatre of Crisis) with two more in preparation (Theatre for People; Traces and Testimonies). Her main interest is in the area of cultural management, national theatres, national festivals and public theatres in the context of cultural policy in Croatia, ex-Yugoslavia and the EU and most of her work is focused on these topics. She is known in the region as a engaged social activist with lot of initiatives in the various fields dealing with the controversial issues in Croatian past and present and working on the advocacy of tolerance in société, democratic values and the rule of law.
Kai Choufour
Victoria, Canada

Public art, food, hypernarratives

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"tomorrow is never this is forever"

I see art and life as a hypernarrative, a web, with pathways connecting the physical, digital and spiritual. I am interested in food hacking, metamorphism of value, comedic investigation, naturalization of technology, inventions of the contrary, and metaphysical presentation. I am a conceptual artist invested in the capturing of natural phenomena and propagation of wonder through relationships with nature. It is important for me to work poetically, freely, sincerely and constantly. In my practice everything collapses into itself repeatedly; song, poetry, architecture, literature, design, food, and visual art are used as tools for uncovering the new, illuminating the past, navigating utopian ideals, and for discovering intrinsic parallels that are present within dreams, art, film and daily life. I believe in love, kindness and gratitude. I believe that by exaggerating the present, we can put more emphasis on our future.
Paloma Durante
São Paulo, Brasil

Performance, site specific, writing

www

"I´m a stain-body"

I use to think that produce art its a constant translate proccess. I like to introduce myself as a researcher. I work searching for intersections between performance - writting -architecture (thinking about relations between my body and the space), and how to turn this experiences into a catalyzer to meet the Other. Questions about language always gets me sensitive, beyond an art research, its something that mobilizes me. I like the details, and the absurdity of daily life.
Berny Tan
Singapore

Visual art, writing, curating

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Berny Tan is a Singaporean artist, curator, and writer. Her interdisciplinary practice explores the tensions that arise when one applies systems to – and unearths systems in – intangible personal experiences, complicating the false binary between rational and emotional. Her projects are attempts to reframe this space of ambivalence as generative rather than paralytic.

Tan’s strategies reflect a fundamental interest in language as it is read, written, and spoken by her. She sees language itself as a system through which her subjectivit(ies) can be simultaneously articulated and encoded, allowing her to interweave the confessional with the analytical, the affective with the critical.

Tan recently concluded an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, and holds a BFA (Hons) in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts. She previously worked as Assistant Curator for OH! Open House, a non-profit that explores Singapore’s cultural geography through art. She has also exhibited her work in Singapore, New York, and the United Kingdom, with two solo exhibitions in Singapore in 2018.
Dale Collier
Australia / Wiradjuri / Worimi / Newcastle

Trans-disciplinary, performance, audio-visual, installation

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Conceptual artist Dale Collier fuses sculptural objects with digital technology to perform contemporary historical critique while re-examining the 21st Century roles of the First Nations artist, activist and ally. Collier's work utilises intertextuality to challenge and interrogate postcolonial frameworks, contemporary falsehoods, nationalistic propaganda and northern European convict/settler tradition. Often manifesting as institutional critique, their site-specific projects traverse live spaces and places of key cultural, geo-political and environmental concern. Dale was raised on Yuin Country and now resides between the Wonnarua, Worimi & Darkinjung Nations. Since 2015 their work has exhibited extensively as solo projects, as a collaborator and also artistic producer with renowned Australian artists, choreographers and curators in multiple institutions and organisations internationally.

In 2010 Collier graduated with 1st class honours in a Bachelor of Digital Media from the Queensland College of Art receiving the Award for Academic Excellence. Collier has won numerous awards including the Margaret Olley Post Graduate Art Scholarship Award, University of Newcastle 2014, the Brenda Clouten Memorial Travelling scholarship Maitland Regional Art Gallery 2016 and The Annual Student Art Prize, Wattspace student Gallery 2017. Collier was also recently awarded the 2019 Windmill Trust Scholarship to deliver a large-scale reciprocal creative project, taking place between Barkindji Country/Broken Hill and Worimi Country/the port city of Newcastle.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.
Leah McInnis
Victoria, Canada

Conceptual, interdisciplinary, building

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"Thinking is Working"

How does the space of our minds relate to the constructed spaces our bodies inhabit? Lately, I have been seeking to define my relationship to working and thinking through the act of constructing large forms out of reclaimed materials. These forms reference familiar architectures and can be climbed and rested on by others. I wonder how these constructions relate to the space of the contemporary art gallery? Or the junk yard? The home? Through writing, another space is created. Located in the mind, the space of reading and writing is fleeting and intangible. A few years ago, I began constructing specialized spaces for reading, and then later I built exaggerated stations for writing. Both endeavours carried their own successes and failures. Perhaps the failures are more exciting... I hope that through this practice of building and thinking I can better understand how to be in a world that embodies contradictions: beautiful, sad, sincere and ironic.

Mélodie Vachon Boucher
Montréal, Canada

Graphic novel, poetry, illustration

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"Montreal-based graphic novelist and poet"

I am interested toward the materiality of objects, their physical presence into space and the way they can alter our behavior. I am deeply moved by their fragility toward time and elements, as well as their capacity to embody ideas and emotions.

I am fascinated by the long and careful process of hand making: collages, manual printing (etching, monotype, silk screen printing), building (sewing, embroidery, pottery art) and traditional drawing mediums (graphite, color pencils, oil pastels).

I was born in Princeville, a small rural town in the center of the province of Quebec, in Canada. As I grew up surrounded by nature, I carry vivid memories of colors, smells, lights and textures from childhood.

Rather than bringing the narratives to one particular style or way of working, I see myself as an actress who has to choose the perfect costumes to render each characters; some stories are meant to be played in very sophisticated gowns, some others don’t need anything more than bare skin. My main interest in art is to find how I can best serve the story to be told.

I see books as powerful objects to build intimate relationships between people, things and ideas. As beautiful tokens of absence.

I was trained as a designer and visual artist at Concordia University. I also studied sociology and teaching. I am a Montreal-based artist who currently writes and illustrates graphic novels and poetry.

Bibliography: À portée de sa bouche (2019), Nouneries (2018), Je vais suivre le bruit (2017), Le meilleur a été découvert loin d’ici (2017), Livre de peine (2016), La chamade (2016), Les trois carrés de chocolat (2016).
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