Watermill Center Announces 2015 Residency Program Participants

The participants work in theater, visual art, and circus arts.

Cirkus Cirkor, Knitting Peace. Photo: Mattias Edwall.
Cirkus Cirkor, Knitting Peace. Photo: Mattias Edwall.

The Watermill Center has announced the group of artists and artist collectives slated to participate in its tenth annual Residency Program in 2015. Hailing from 9 different countries, the artists work in a wide variety of disciplines, embracing everything from the visual arts, video and sound installation, dance, and choreography, to theater, puppetry, and circus.

The Center, founded by Robert Wilson, opened its year-round nearly 30,000 square-f00t facility in Water Mill on Eastern Long Island in 2006, and has hosted over 100 residency groups in the years since. Depending on the scheduling needs of each artist, the residencies, which are held from January to June and September through December, can last between two and six weeks.

“Generally it’s one artist who’s there for an extended period of time and they kind of take over the ground and the building,” managing director William Wagner told artnet News in a phone interview, but the facility will sometimes host multiple residencies simultaneously. “It depends on the artists, the size of the group, and the nature of the work they are doing.”

The residency selection process is handled by an international committee made up of of artists, academics, and cultural leaders from a range of artistic disciplines. The panel includes Kristy Edmunds from UCLA, journalist John Rockwell, Pratt president Thomas Schutte, and RoseLee Goldberg of Performa. Together, they whittle down roughly 200 applications to 15,or up to 20 residents. Wagner cited the geographic diversity of the selected residents as one of the things that makes Watermill’s program unique.

During their time at the center, explained Wagner, “the artists live in the building, and they cook and they eat and they really do set up house, so to speak, in the building.” The facilities include a gallery that doubles as a studio space, and eight acres of grounds.

The center is also home to a significant portion of the over 8,000-piece Watermill art collection. “Robert Wilson spent over a decade designing and constructing this incredible environment for the artists to work in,” added Wagner. “People are living and working and breathing and creating throughout the building, and in every room there are these exceptionally gorgeous works of art that span the history of mankind for people to be inspired by.”

The works developed in the program are presented to the public throughout the year via open studios, workshops, and performances. In the past, dance and theater companies have generally hosted an open rehearsal showing at the end of the residencies, but, moving forward, Wagnerhopes to offer more fully realized performances throughout the year.

This year’s participants include prominent designer and director Julian Crouch, nominated for a Tony Award for his set design of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and artist Oliver Beer, who will continue his ongoing Resonance Project, a site-specific work that explores how the un-amplified human voice resonates through various architectural spaces. Tomasz Jeziorski, Adam Lenz, Karolina Zielińska, and Shane Weeks will draw on the local history of the Shinnecock Nation through video and sound installations, while actress Helene Patarot plans to investigate her town past through a unique hybrid of documentary and theater.

Artists List

The complete group of 2015 Watermill Artists in Residence are listed below (some residencies feature multiple artists):

Oliver Beer (UK), visual art
Cirkus Cirkör (Sweden), circus
Julian Crouch (United Kingdom), puppetry; and Saskia Lane (United States) music and puppetry
Tamar Ettun (Israel), sculpture and performance art
Geoffrey Farmer (Canada), interdisciplinary art
Kristen Foote (Canada), dance
Catherine Galasso, United States, dance
Teatro de Chile, (Chile), performance
Tomek Jeziorski (Poland), film and video art; Adam Lenz (United States), music and sound art; Karolina Zielińska, (Poland), cinematography and lighting design; and Shane Weeks (Shinnecock Nation/United States), cultural consultancy
Amy Khoshbin (United States), performance art; and Sarah Dahnke (United States), dance
Natacha Mankowski (France), painting, installation art, and architect
Helene Patarot (Vietnam/France), performing art in theater
Matthew Prest (Australia), contemporary performance; and Claire Britton (Australia), contemporary performance
Carlos Soto (United States), theater

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