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Creative Time Announces 6 Artists to Travel the World to Explore Burning Questions

NEW YORK, NY.- Creative Time announced The Creative Time Global Residency Program, an initiative that offers 6 artists an unprecedented opportunity to travel to specific regions in the world and investigate social issues by immersing themselves in communities abroad. Through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, Maya Lin, Walid Raad, Emily Jacir, Judi Werthein, Sanford Biggers, and K8 Hardy have each been awarded global residencies, allowing each artist to take the time to investigate a burning question they have about our world, without the demands of producing a project.

In an increasingly globalized art world, artists travel more and more frequently to produce work in far-flung locales. But it is rare for artists to be afforded time specifically to connect with the places they travel to, or have meaningful interactions with local communities. Creative Time reinvents the typical residency model—in which artists travel to a specific place in order to make a project—by giving artists their choice of locale and preferencing reflection and process over the making of objects. The Creative Time Global Residency creates opportunities for artists to expand their practice and deepen their engagement with areas of social and political complexity.

This unique initiative began when Creative Time held roundtables with artists to ask what they would need to tackle the most important issues facing our world today. The answer, summarized by Emily Jacir, was that "artists need time to open themselves to new ideas and inspiration that lead to new work."

"Privileging artists’ processes and an investment in social issues are central to Creative Time’s mission," said Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time. "So when we heard from artists that they needed opportunities to spend time learning and thinking away from the hustle of the art market and art fairs, we developed The Creative Time Global Residency. We are so grateful for the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund’s support of this timely initiative."

The Creative Time Global Residency is a part of Creative Time's new program of international initiatives. Beginning this year, the organization will work around the world, sending artists abroad to experiment with new models of making art. Other international initiatives include Jakob Boeskov’s Dr. Cruel—a short film shot in Nigeria in the Nollywood style of slapstick and melodrama that narrates a hapless terrorist’s extortion scheme for funding his dreams of nonviolence training for the Nigerian police—more to be announced.

The Projects
Sanford Biggers will use this opportunity to investigate societies with great cultural syncretism and cross-pollination—a melding of different beliefs, traditions, and cultural influences—in order to continue exploring what has become a central focus of his artistic practice: the study of ethnological objects, popular culture and icons, and Dadaist strategies.

K8 Hardy will travel to Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the existence of a feminist and/or lesbian community of contemporary artists and underground publications.

Emily Jacir, an artist whose work is heavily influenced by geography, travel, and conflicts of cultural identity, will investigate the Italian tradition of social activism that emerged in the 1960s in Rome, and the activist practices that continue today in the fields of art and media.

Maya Lin’s project What Is Missing?—her fifth and last memorial—will rethink what a memorial can be. Lin will travel to the Everglades, China, and the Bialowieska Forest in Poland to observe and document disappearing species. A video portion of the What Is Missing? project will be shown At 44 1/2, Creative Time’s presentation of video art on MTV’s outdoor, HD screen in Times Square from April 15 to April 30, with additional screenings on Earth Day.

Walid Raad, an artist uniquely engaged in observing the unique political and cultural forces at work in the Arab world, has witnessed the emergence of a new infrastructure for the visual arts in the region. As Raad explains, "the planned construction of several large art museums and art schools in the Arab Gulf raises fascinating questions about how art will be conceived, made, distributed, and consumed in the future, not only in the Arabian Gulf, but in the Arab world in general, and beyond." Raad will interview scholars, artists, state officials, historians, and other thinkers, writers, and bureaucrats about these questions.

Judi Werthein will travel to a remote mountain community in southwest Hunan, China to investigate the modern reinvention of Nu¨ Shu, or "women’s writing." Nu¨ Shu—which is not a distinct dialect but rather a phonetic writing system—was once used as a covert, intimate form of expression for heretical feelings about the frustration, melancholy, and loneliness of wives forced into arranged marriages. It is now being used in a way that is empowering and enriching to a new generation of girls.

Creative Time | Anne Pasternak | The Creative Time Global Residency Program |

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