27 de February de 2023

Interview: Lucas Albuquerque explains the selection process for this year’s Residency and Research Program

Check out the chat with the program coordinator about the main points of the Open Call 2023, which has registrations open until February 24

On January 23, Instituto Inclusartiz launched the call for the 2023 edition of its Artist Residency and Research Program, which continues with open enrollment until February 24. This year, in addition to contemplating artists, curators and researchers from Brazil, the program also offers opportunities to candidates from other nations that are members of the CPLP – Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor.

>> Full announcement

>> Registration form

The residencies will last four weeks and will be held throughout the year at the institute’s headquarters, in Gamboa, Rio de Janeiro’s port area. In all, ten vacancies are offered, five for artists and five for curators/researchers. Those interested in participating need to submit their portfolios and unpublished projects, which must be related to the institute’s guidelines. The analysis of the proposals will be carried out by the Inclusartiz’s residency team and by a guest jury composed of professionals from Brazil’s five regions.

Lucas Albuquerque explains the selection process for this year’s Residency and Research Program / Photo: Beatriz Gimenes

“The proposal is that the ten residents be received in pairs, formed by an artist and a curator or researcher. Each pair will spend four weeks at the institute, completing a cycle. In this public notice, five cycles are foreseen. Within these union proposals, we intend to tailor the program so that the researches have a point of contact – they do not necessarily have to deal with the same topic, but they should present exchanges to help the pairs to complement each other,” explains Lucas Albuquerque, coordinator of the Artist Residency and Research Program.

Read the full interview below.

Lucas, the Artist Residency and Research Program at Instituto Inclusartiz is one of the most complete and prestigious in Brazil. In your view, what are the main differentials of the Inclusartiz program?

I think the main distinction of our program is that it is very close to the resident. We have a dedicated team that is always close to the artist, the curator, the researcher, intending to provide the best space for the development of research and poetic investigation. So, without a doubt, I would highlight our curatorship, communication, and production team, because they are all very united to promote these efforts. Then we have a whole development chain, which involves research into collections and dialogues with other agents and institutions in the field of contemporary art.

Tell us a little about the structure of the studio space that residents will use during the residency and about the program’s general structure. What can candidates expect from this residency?

The workspace offered by the institute is located on the second floor of our cultural center, and it is important to mention that it is a historic mansion from the beginning of the 20th century, overlooking Praça da Harmonia. This space is a collective workshop in which we manage to modulate the resident’s entire working structure according to their projects’ needs, such as the construction of a reference wall and an exhibition space. Everything happens on this floor, which can also host workshops, performance proposals, conversation circles and work presentations.

This year, the call is open to candidates from all member states of the CPLP – Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and East Timor). What are the proposals of this decision?

The decision to open the call to other countries, taken since last year’s Open Call, comes from the institute’s desire to expand to other territories, understanding the cultural multiplicity that we can embrace in our projects. We also wish to encourage the richness of artistic production and contact between agents from different places. We embraced that idea to think about the residency program on an international level based on a discussion key, and we chose the language issue as an interesting guide. Both because this enables a cultural exchange facilitated by linguistic familiarity, and because it seeks to understand all the particularities of each of these countries, with their own ways of using Portuguese, as well as the implications of their variations and how this ends up affecting the artistic work. So, that turned out to be the conceptual key in the project’s design, which also extends to the proposals we will receive. And not all of them need to be guided by a linguistic issue, since this is much more evident in the construction of the public notice and in the institute’s desire to expand than necessarily in the search for a specific poetics in the candidates’ works.

Lucas Albuquerque and Mozambican artist Filomena Mairosse at the closing event of her residency cycle in 2022 / Photo: Guilherme Tarini

The residencies will take place between May and December 2023 at the headquarters of Instituto Inclusartiz, in Rio de Janeiro. How will residents be organized throughout the year?

The proposal is that the ten residents be received in pairs, formed by an artist and a curator or researcher. Each pair will spend four weeks at the institute, forming a cycle. In this call, five cycles are foreseen. Within these double proposals, we intend to tailor the program so that researches have a point of contact, understanding that they do not necessarily need to deal with the same topic, but that they can present exchanges that help the pairs to complement each other. Over the past year, we saw a great exchange between the pairs, with research projects that integrated the artistic projects of the other cycle partner, for example.

The notice offers ten vacancies, five for artists and five for curators/researchers. Of this total, how many will be allocated to foreign candidates?

The notice provides for a minimum of two international candidates. This amount can be exceeded, but it should stay close to this number.

In addition to the institute’s curatorship team, candidates will also be evaluated by a guest jury, composed of professionals from the five Brazilian regions. How will this process happen?

The research projects evaluation method adopted by Instituto Inclusartiz includes a jury composed of five names from different parts of Brazil, each one representing a region of the country. This jury evaluates each of the entries individually, seeking to understand both the relevance of the project and the cohesion with the artist’s portfolio, as well as the pertinence of the proposal to be developed within our cultural center, understanding our specificities and the openings we have to promote its development. It is important to point out that during the process each of the jurors will examine the portfolio and then we will discuss together all the names that were identified as relevant to the selection process, until we get to eighteen, twenty names. Having this shortlist, those selected will go to the second stage, in which they will have an interview with the internal team of Instituto Inclusartiz, composed of Aldones Nino, Victor Gorgulho, Frances Reynolds and me. Once all the interviews are made, we will make a selection from those who are most relevant to participate in our residency program.

What are the main points to be taken into account when selecting candidates?

First, the relevance of the project. It is very important that the proposal points out not only the description of what the research is and what are the questions that guide it, but also how it will be developed. It should present, if possible, a small schedule of how the candidate intends to carry out that project here in Rio. The second point is that the works presented within the artist’s portfolio must have a connection with the project submitted to the institute. Also understanding that every portfolio is a cut of the candidate’s production, it is very important that they pay attention to the cohesion between project and portfolio, presenting the questions that guide their interests, which guide or guided them to conduct the project they are submitting. Finally, another point that should be highlighted is the equality of gender, color and geographic distribution. We intend to build a group of artists and curators who, united, present a great web of possibilities around what artistic research can be.

The Open Studio – Studies in Transit exhibition brought together works by all residents who visited Inclusartiz throughout 2022 / Photo: Thales Leite

What are the main mistakes candidates make when applying? What are the points they should be aware of?

I believe the main mistake candidates end up making is not reading the public notice carefully. There are very important points that must be followed for the application to be considered valid. The second one is the neglect of the portfolio. It is the showcase of the artist’s or curator’s research and, therefore, it is very important that it is objective, visually clean and also that the condition of the research development is evident to the jury. As there are many entries and the judges need to examine a large number of forms, it is essential that the candidate is very objective in their wishes and references. Another fundamental thing is that the project needs to be very well structured. A scattered research proposal, not very objective and with little information will hardly make it to the final stage. So it is essential that candidates make good use of the writing space and that they are succinct and very well articulated in their wishes, presenting, above all, a work proposal, because even if it changes throughout the research process, it is very important for the jury to understand that the resident masters the subject, and, therefore, will be able to develop the research.

Finally, give a tip for all those who want to join the program this year.

The last tip I would give to candidates is to be cohesive, honest and to believe in the submitted projects. In addition to wanting to present a proposal about discussions that are currently in vogue or something that he or she believes the institution will be interested in, the candidate needs to be honest and present cohesion between the proposal and the other projects they have already developed. If not, this will show throughout the process, such as the portfolio analysis and, mainly, the defense of the proposal during the interview.