|Location||Spain / Barcelona|
|Personal Website||Rae HSU's Personal Website|
My experience working as a physical therapist in the hospital has had a profound impact on me. My creation is about those feelings that are missing, about various intimate human-machine interfaces, about wounds and connective tissue, and about artificial body and prosthesis.
Artist’s Residency Experience:
I am grateful to have had this opportunity for my artist-in-residency in Hangar. Although I had arrived at the facility at two in the middle of the night (due to a train malfunction), I was filled with joy as I got off the taxi after seeing the main plaza full of graffiti and the creative studio with lights still fully lit. I call it a facility because there is a narrow entrance passage leading to Hangar, and upon entering, there is an accommodation for international artists on the right-hand side. On the left is a large plaza filled with trees where the residents would often socialize with their neighbors and hold various events. Moving on is a large office / workspace converted from an old cloth factory, which contains office space for employees, meeting space for staff and artists, small metal welding tables, electronic materials and peripheral rooms, audio and video lab, and a co-working space on the second floor. The next building is called the Rickson Black Box. Artists can rent the large space in advance with a full range of audio and video equipment (rental for various equipment is also in this building). Occasionally it is rented out to the public for photography, concerts, or sound art shows. The following two-story building contains the artists’ individual studios for the few of us international resident artists as well as the two dozen long-term resident artists (two years). The Polyvalent building is where the workshop is held, and it is also rented out to the public as a film studio.
People in the city would take turns to take summer vacations and the atmosphere of the whole city is very laid back. Perhaps this is the reason why the atmosphere of Hangar is also relatively loose. Even so, there were two activities I think I could have done better or be more prepared if I had been notified earlier in advance.
The monthly Paratext is Hangar’s most important event. They would compile the bodies of work from these events and publish an annual album distributed at various local communities to pass on the arts and culture. Paratext means everything relating to text: table of contents, titles, quotes, prefaces, footnotes, and warnings. They are the package and pillar of the main text, and they also raise doubts and questions to complete and extend them. These events can be of any form, including but not restricted to presentations, recitation of a poem, dancing on the table, and sound performances etc. We had prepared our Paratext as the four new international artists at the time and it was the only project that Hangar required us to complete.
Paratext was held on the second week after our arrival and we were only briefed by the staff to wait for more detailed information. The office sent a letter a few days before the event asking us to prepare a 30-minute session to introduce our own creative context in a format of our choice. I think it would be more appropriate and meaningful if it was held in the fourth week because we had just settled down in the second week and only started creating without much to show just yet.
In addition to my own projects, I had also participated in Hangar’s annual Polyvalence event where we discussed and planned activities with local long-term resident artists to invite other local artists. During my residency, I often worked with Lara Fluxa, a long-term local resident artist, on creating and experimenting with glass. I taught her how to DIY her own polarizer to observe the pressure in the glass. She taught me how to seal the glass tube using a blowtorch to make a small glass container. We conducted a small experimental performance in the Rickson Black Box that shattered glass using audio frequencies.
As Polyvalence was organized the local long-term staying resident artists and we were notified quite late, they had previously decided the schedule. However, this is a very large event with great exposure, and I would prefer the resident artists be notified in advance to better prepare for their own exhibition or performance.
While this was the least structured experience from my past three residencies, I had instead gained the greatest freedom and possible outreach. The attitudes of artists I met there were quite different. Some went there on their own expense and actively created a large body of works, while others announced, on the first day of arrival, that they were there on vacation – with most falling between these two extremes. In the end, the program didn’t seem to be too concerned with what we did or did not do. The people who went there on vacation left in the end without a care in the world. Our proposal for a double solo exhibition was politely declined, but they suggested that we could continue to create and distribute these works under the notion of “Developed in Hangar.” On the one hand, I was used to having an exhibition or publication to close out my residency, but on the other hand, I had felt a responsibility to the Ministry of Culture and needed to try for the chance for a publication at the end. Maybe it was my strong moral imperatives that made my evaluate others in this stereotypical manner. Perhaps Paratext sessions are more process-oriented to focus on the “progression” instead of rushing to conclusions.
Finally, there are so many mosquitoes in summer! Please come prepared.