Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Visit was a residency project of Nini Palavandishvili (GeoAIR/Tbilisi, Georgia) and Anna Smolak (Krakow, Poland) at BaseCamp Stockholm@Intercult

Artists, theoreticians and practitioners from different disciplines were welcomed to collaborate on the project “The Visit”. Moreover: We were looking for the individuals and the families who emigrated to Sweden and setteled down in Stockholm and were willing to take part in the artistic project. The project was based on the research of different ethnic, cultural and religious groups living in chosen cities (Tbilisi, Krakow, Stockholm).

“The Visit” was designed as a research on a topic of the citizen-newcomer and the concept of private space. We were interested in the private spaces of the citizens of different ethnic and national identity residing in Sweden permanently, or temporarily, also illegal immigrants, those who live in guest countries throughout generations as well as contemporary nomads, who are permanently on the move.

The purpose of this project was to discuss the modern identity of the city based on the idea of the citizen-newcomer, as well as to reinterpret the concepts connected with private space and intimacy of living. By attempting to answer what it means for the newcomers to have a private space. Does it mean freedom or quite the opposite – separation? Does home exclude from the broader social context and how may it be influenced by the external factors? We pointed to the shifts between “public” and “private” and drew attention to the problems of the progressing isolation of the private life which leads to erosion and eradication of social relations. By addressing the issues of the legality of the stay the project also refered to the privacy of the space in the political and legal context.

We also aimed to extend our research to a new type of short-term migration  so called contemporary nomads, which occurs particularly among young people who visit Stockholm without the intention to stay there permanently. For this group the process of absorption and exchange of cultural identities have a different dynamic and is less burdened with the feeling of loss.

The subjective map of the city outlined the tension and dynamics around cultural diversity which are a result of political processes and reflect not only the condition of the city but also individuals.

The aim of this project was also to discuss the concept connected with the rituals of visits and hospitality, the private space and functioning of art outside the institutional context.

We believe that art has the potential to capture the intimate experiences and translate them to universal values. The functioning of the private space is governed by individual ritual. The appearance of the visitor (artist) is also subjected to this ritual. By introducing the artist to the newcomer’s home we wanted to see how the roles of the host and guest overlap and transform.


Project was supported by: