June 10, 2021 - EVA International - Occasional Groundwork
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June 10, 2021

EVA International / Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) / LIAF

View of screening by 2020 AFIELD fellows Rojava Film Commune, the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava (North and East Syria), 2017. Courtesy of Diyar Hesso. Logo: Alex Synge/The First47.

Occasional Groundwork
Call for proposals

Application deadline: July 25, 5pm

occasionalgroundwork.org
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Occasional Groundwork—an alliance of three European biennials (EVA International, Lofoten International Art Festival, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art)—is delighted to announce the official launch of “Groundings,” an ongoing series of commissioned texts exploring themes of internationalism, sustainability, and cultural infrastructure within the context of the contemporary art biennial and the shift in conditions imposed by the ongoing pandemic.

The first texts published in the Groundings series are Taru Elfving’s Time to take time to get grounded (published online here) and Grégory Castéra’s Composing the near and far (published online here). A third text in the series, by Omar Kholeif, will follow in the summer of 2021.   

As a continuation of the series, Occasional Groundwork openly invites proposals for texts, by writers, artists, curators, administrators, and others. We are particularly interested in proposals to address themes of internationalism from operational or infrastructural perspectives, a selection of which will be commissioned as longer-form texts, published both online and in a print publication due for release in spring 2022.

Internationalism has been a defining characteristic of the contemporary arts infrastructure and discursive circuitry that we inherit in 2021. Over recent decades, it has been partly built through solidarity and connective diversity; partly built through cynicism and neoliberal opportunity. In descriptive usage, the “international” is often a benign aspiration and positive value, without specific metrics, qualification or accountability. Most recently, internationalism has been squeezed and demonized on both sides of the political spectrum; undermining local and national priorities, while also threatening to reproduce the economic and environmental precarities that have been accelerated by globalist agendas. In the past year, as a result of the global pandemic and the limits of air travel, internationalism has been reshaped again. New lines of access have been created on Zoom and other online services and platforms, while receding the essentialism of cultural encounter through travel and embodied experience.  As an alliance of smaller-scale regional biennials that have been historically modelled on tenets of cultural “destination” within our respective national contexts, we feel the urgency to collectively rethink and reoperate the terms of internationalism with sustainable and co-developmental values.

Submissions are invited via email to occasionalgroundwork [​at​] eva.ie by Sunday, July 25 at 5pm GMT to include an abstract or text proposal of no more than 350 words, together with a short biography. Selections will be made by representatives of the Occasional Groundwork network, with external assessment by artist Dennis McNulty. A total of six text commissions will be awarded and subsequently published online and in a forthcoming print publication. For further information, please see submissions guidelines available at occasionalgroundwork.org

About Occasional Groundwork
Occasional Groundwork is an alliance of three European biennials EVA (Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art), GIBCA (Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Sweden), and LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway) that are each concerned with re-proposing the model of the international art biennial. Seeking a rooted infrastructure for the production and dissemination of contemporary art, Occasional Groundwork serves as a peer group for thinking through the existing and speculative frameworks of organisational practice.

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