Pau Catà is a PhD candidate at Edinburgh College of Art
On the journey between the same and the other
"Since art residencies emerged in the 1990s, there has been a growing interest in rethinking their role not only as relevant constituents within the art world but most importantly as innovative educational structures in society at large. Coinciding with the expansion of the art residency phenomenon at a global scale, the last decade has seen a substantial increase in research on topics such as the host-guest relationship, experimental pedagogies, de- institutionalisation, and reciprocal activism. Even as these timely discussions take place though, there is an important area of inquiry that is still under-researched. This is the one reflecting upon the reasons why non-Western traditions are neglected in the way art residencies’ history is currently narrated. Indeed, the lack of a coherent body of work in this field demonstrates that the genealogical co-relation between artistic knowledge and mobility hasn’t yet been critically approached from a cross-cultural perspective, resulting in the development of a discourse that is not only Western-centric but also narrowly grounded in relatively facile approaches.
An example of the lack of complexity in the current art residency historiography becomes obvious if we take into consideration that the rich tradition intertwining the relationship between mobility and knowledge within Islamic cultures is invisible in the current narrative. The primarily aim of this research is precisely to address and challenge this absence. In order to do so a decolonial approach to methodology is applied through artistic and action research, collaborative curating and experimental genealogies. The aim of this endeavor is to discover unexpected lineages, to inhabit the movement of knowledge(s), and to rethink the assumptions embedded in a history that we thought already written."
--Pau Catà, 2019