Through its residency programmes, the Goethe-Institut seeks to provide a space for new perspectives. Particularly in the age of globalisation, it is especially inspiring for artists and culture producers to ground their works in specific, real places and to pursue their projects for a while, free from economic considerations and to build up or deepen lasting professional contacts. Artists will be nominated. Applications are not possible. Each year, with its residency programmes and their variety of focuses, the Goethe-Institut New Zealand offers artists and other culture creator’s opportunities to live and work in Wellington or Christchurch for a period of time. The residency programme’s focus is not on one-time presentations. Instead, the projects’ success and significance become evident in long-term exchange and lasting co-operation between the artists.
Residency artist 2019: Vanja Smiljanić
Vanja Smiljanić (*1986 Belgrade/Serbia) is a visual and performance artist living and working in Cologne. In her practice she often utilises the model of performance-lecture as a way to bridge fictitious and experiential universes, comprising technical apparatus, diagrams and sci-fi povera sculptures. Connecting otherwise unparalleled reality systems, Vanja's work attests the foundation of ideologies as alienated regimes, recurring to her own body as a vessel for narration, often shifting between the position of oracle and storyteller.
She has shown her work in various festivals and institutions e.g. Schauspiel Köln, Drodesera Performance Festival and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea Milano.
During her 4-weeks residency in Wellington Vanja Smiljanić is doing a research for her feminist project about author and leader of the American woman’s movement in the 20th century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She is focusing on the work “Herland” (1915), which is about a matriarchal utopia, dealing with an isolated society of woman, their asexuality and egalitarianism. She is working on her multi-media performance-lecture.
In Wellington Vanja Smiljanić will focus on the feminist movement in New Zealand, especially researching the “mana wāhine” und “Pākehā”.