La Donation Haracourt / Île de Bréhat, Brittany, France

La Donation Haracourt / Île de Bréhat, Brittany, France

no residency for artists… but for students living at the Cité Universitaire in Paris

‘Partir, c’est mourir un peu’
(Rondelet de l’Adieu, Edmond Haracourt)

…This is the beginning of the most familiar verse of the writer and poet Edmond Haracourt, the former dweller of this mansion.’To leave means to die a little’ literarily translated. And truly, if you have ever been to this impressive place nearly at the end of a small island in Brittany, north of France, you do not want to leave again.
Surrendered to the strong winds and the intense tidal, the natural stone house surely has seen better days from the inside, but this doesn’t detract from its charms. Always in sight the lighthouse, a stroll of about half an hour away.
No cars are allowed on the isle, except

some farming vehicles, so everyone uses a bicycle. Biking at least to reach the only little supermarket during the two opening hours in the morning or those two in the afternoon as there , having to get off when passing through the central village. How wonderfully this slows you down and reactivates all senses. During long walks from the north island, over the little bridge connecting both island parts, down to the most southern point and the harbor welcoming the mainland ferry twice a day, I always had one song in mind: Henri Salvador’s ‘Chambre Avec Vue’. Listen, if you like.

The former residence of the poet Edmond Haracourt at Île de Bréhat, Brittany, France is now property and in administration of the Cité Universitaire in Paris. Students of all disciplines can apply for a free two-weeks’ stay in summertime, and ten applicants of different nationalities are selected. During the rest of the year also non-students can rent the house and visit the place as guests.
I was lucky to be selected for this two-weeks stay here at the end of a student exchange with ‘Erasmus’ in 2001/2002 in Paris.
That time I was living at the German house ‘Maison Heinrich Heine’ at the Cité Universitaire for two semesters, also assisting with their events as ‘tutrice culturelle’.
I remember well that after the residency at the Fondation Haracourt I wanted to travel on to Avignon to attend the biggest theatre festival in Europe. But it was exactly the season when there was a big strike and all official performances were cancelled. What a pity… for the performers as well as for the audience.

See all info regarding this residency and the former house of Edmond Haracourt on the homepage of the Cité Universitaire, Paris XVI (in Frensh only).
Further info on the island Île de Bréhat, how to get there, climate, policy etc. on wikipedia.
Photos: CIUP

Grožnjan / Istria, Croatia

Grožnjan / Istria, Croatia

Artist village, no residency

An idyllic medieval small town
on the mountaintop, full of ateliers and galleries

This idyllic place exists thanks to an artists’ initiative in the 1970. Many creative minds
as well as arts and crafts gifted people moved into abandoned houses and installed ateliers and galleries.
Nowadays about 40 painters, potters, goldsmiths, glassmakers and other artists live and work in this small medieval place on a mountain top in the Istrian countryside. It is worth a trip – only to enjoy a promenade through the narrow cobblestone streets and the breath-taking view over the hills of the wine country.

In summer there is a renowned youth music camp and music festival – bringing over a lot of music lovers. 

Vladimir Kašnar: “Grožnjan is a jewel, and has a Music camp for Jeunesse Musicale – actually set up by my sister Branka Lalic and others in the 1960’s.
And Motovun, also very special, is the film festival venue. Rajko Grlic, the movie director who set up Motovun festival and for many years ran a workshop for film in Grožnjan, has a house right under Grožnjan. We are good friends.”

Info on:
Grožnjan / Istria

International cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia in Grožnjan
Motovun / Istria
Motovun Film Festival
Photos: A.M.

F-A-S-T / Dresden, Germany

F-A-S-T / Dresden, Germany

multidisciplinary: for artists, scientists & technologists
pilot project, not residential

Brain screwing with practical output

A two-year pilot project including workshops, lectures, open seminars, hands on sessions and individual collaborations, completed by staging an exhibition and curricular forum called ‘REVOLVING STARS & SHAKY GROUNDS’ at Festspielhaus Hellerau, which took place 3-6 July 2014.
‘F-A-S-T: Framing Art, Science & Technology’ was a project intending the development and evaluation of a new postgraduate programme at the intersection of art, science and technology. This unique endeavour tried to get together the creative and scientific forces of various artistic, scientific and technical disciplines. Peerless and finally clever enough to use and unite the intellectual footing of the university city and capitol of Saxony, Dresden. So it combined the facilities of the three universities/academies and rooted in the Academy of Fine Arts (HfBK), the University of Applied Sciences (HTW), and the Technical University Dresden (TU).

The pilot project was launched in October 2013 with the aim to create an interdisciplinary curriculum, in which the various disciplines could profit from (and be inspired by) their respective ways of working, teaching and producing. Common reflection on the extended and metaphysical context of an own project every one of the 12 participants was applying with, leading to a materialisation at the end.
Through an unusual process of work and development high ambitions were set up, in a theoretical as well as in a very practical way. The basis of the examination in the fields of research and the objective were professors and regularly visiting lecturers. Curated and operated by a small team of about seven persons, innovative ideas developed in the whole group or within two partners of different branches.

To wrap it up again: There was an open call for international artists, scientists and engineers to apply with an own project for a six months working period settled in Dresden, Germany. The whole programme was funded by ESF – Europäischer Sozialfonds für Deutschland, but not to the extent to be able to offer a grant and/or accommodation for this period.
To point it out clearly: F-A-S-T is an
educational offer and not a residency programme in the conventional sense. All together 12 participants, gathered of two engineers, one micro-electronic, and nine artists, followed this intense time with a weekly all-day colloquium and every two weeks on Wednesday evenings a international lecture series by invited experts of all branches and research fields.

So, the participants brought in their creative ideas and experience, and the programme provided them expertise, technical skills and support, like 3-D animation and scanning, pattern recognition and movement digitalisation, showing the usage of the 3-D printers they have at the spot or the two motion capture machines (one which needs a suite to put on and one can capture movements even without any sensory guideline suite), laser cutting devices and lots of other high tech equipment.
The curriculum was set up by the master minds of the ‘Framing Art, Science &
Technology’ programme: Christian Sery, professor interdisciplinary/experimental painting, Rainer Groh, professor for technical visualisation, and Markus Wacker, professor for informatics and IT graphics
Collaborating (among others) with Bernd Hopfengärtner and Marian Kaiser, a schedule of lectured and seminars of professors and external guests were created covering the wide field from the arts, sciences, technology to philosophy. Themes of the classes were e.g. the State of the Art Theory, Media Theory, Science-technical Philosophy, or Theories of the Speculative.

But the theoretical side was always linked with the practical questions of realisation and modes of usage. It is obvious that these completely different disciplines were clashing together with there divers approaches and intentions:
The Sciences ask ‘What does this tell us?’, the Arts always defend against any kind of instrumentalisation and Technology asks for the practical and economic value.
The key to overcome these permanent conflicts was to break it down to the tangible work within the project coming from the general to the small; working in single collaborations, having a look at interdependencies and structures.
The aim was to focus on techniques trying to find out something new, to explore the differences and similarities, and not to presume.
At present it seems that this pilot project will not find realisation in a master’s course due to financing issues and also a second edition is not yet planned, but providentially, the FAST-team is working on a publication. This book is supposed to come out in November 2014, documenting the contents and results of this great venture F-A-S-T.
Looking forward to it!


photo left: Marian Kaiser,
research assistant, HfBK Dresden

More info on the websites of HfBK and

Photos: F-A-S-T, A.M.;
Interview with Jonas Loh, 4th July, and Marian Kaiser, 18th July 2014

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