Gonzo Unit Thessaloniki – Greece and UK artist residency programme
In these uncertain times, marked by periods of isolation and disconnection, we’re pleased to announce our cross cultural residency programme connecting Greek and British visual artists in a unique collaboration over several editions. In each edition we have invited two artists to meet virtually, and participate in a programme of communication and activity for a number of months. This will lead up to a two-week physical residency and public exhibition taking place in our Thessaloniki project space, throughout 2021 with the first exhibition in Spring.
Collaboration is at the heart of our project; we believe that exciting things happen when individual artists work together, and are open to creative exchange. Our project is designed to champion the experimental, we encourage artists to push the boundaries of their practice, take risks, test ideas and embrace failure as part of the creative process. Collaboration may mean the artists exchange ideas, create dialogue between works, find common ground, make new work together, respond to, challenge, inspire and/or influence one another’s practice. Each approach and resulting exhibition will be unique to each pair of artists.
As British practitioners based in Greece, Gonzo Unit are keen to build a lasting legacy and networks between the two countries through this project. The UK enters into a new, uncertain, and seemingly insular future with its EU departure, this is an especially crucial moment to nurture outward looking creative dialogue. Greece remains in a precarious position still under the shadow of the financial and refugee crises. Our project is inspired both by our experiences of working in UK artist run initiatives and from observing new ways of working collectively that have emerged in response to the crisis in Greece. These backdrops provide an interesting springboard and fertile ground for sharing of practices, experiences and learning.
Our residency is rooted in Thessaloniki, which we believe is an interesting location for collaboration and cultural exchange. Situated at the gateway to Europe, between east and west, it is a site of a rich shared history. Today, our project slots into a burgeoning cultural scene, where our artists take part in their physical two week residency prior to their exhibition. Under these exceptional circumstances, and propelled by Covid19 restrictions, our artists have now begun their collaboration virtually, forming new relationships with one another and establishing connections between sites that may be unfamiliar. Together we will experiment with what can be exchanged, communicated and even produced, whilst international travel and physical gatherings may not be possible or safe. We will be sharing some of the dialogue and activity that takes place throughout the programme, on our website and through social media #gonzounit, #gonzocollaborations .