for writers, composers and fine artists
‘We believe that new art should be talked about, should be read, seen, heard and experienced.
…Art exists and lives not just through the artists themselves, but also through those who read it, look at it and listen to it.’
Ministry of Culture of the Free State of Bavaria.
The Artist Residence is in its 16th year of existence, also introducing the new European candidate countries, like the Czech Republic in 1999. The fix personnel comprises five persons who are taking care of organisational matters, communication
Nora-Eugenie Gomringer. She is in charge of this position since nearly five years, bringing in not only managing skills, but also a vivid artistic side and art connections.
Yes, plural, as it is not only the building of Villa Concordia with it’s new glass building
The first residential year after their construction was 1999, before there were two other buildings hosting, a rented one at Schillerplatz and one of them still serves
At the building at Neuer Ebracher Hof, in short walking distance, the other six apartments, studios and working ateliers are to be found. The administrative offices are located at Villa Concordia since 2003, after completing the renovation works there.
Some pick up regional symbols and icons Bamberg is known for, like he did with the city contour of ‘seven mountaintops and eight church spires’. Ryszard Kajzer also
So, the assembly is always four writers, four composers/musicians and four fine artists of all sectors. Usually the authors get to live at the biggest ateliers as they mainly work in their place, but surely there is no need for complaints regarding accommodation or any other need. All residents receive 1.500 Euro per month, free accommodation where also family and friends are welcome, only pets have to stay away (which is more about allergies than not wanting animals).
The group photo shows (from left to right): Jesús Palomino (fine artist), Javier Salinas (author), Steffen Wick (composer), Michaela Eichwald (fine artist), Brigitta Muntendorf (composer), Michele Di Menna (fine artist), Christine Pitzke (author), José María Sánchez-Verdù (composer), Kerstin Specht (author), Alberto Posadas (composer), Ricardo Menéndez Salmón (author).
Fine artist Antonio R. Montesinos is missing on this photo taken on 15th of April 2014 as he arrived for his fellowship at Villa Concordia later in June.
(photo by Tobias Bohm)
The fellows cannot apply, but are selected only – fitting the high reputation approach.
The invitation is pronounced by the Cultural Ministry of the State Chancellery of Bavaria, as well as all official letters are sent via this office in Munich.
So, the renowned and high range institution usually welcomes well-situated artists with a lot of award winners amongst them. The selection committee includes representatives of the Free State of Bavaria, the town council (the mayor Dr. Christian Lange), the Villa Concordia board, and artists. The complete Board of Governors is registered on the homepage.
The renovation of this former Böttinger building, constructed out of sandstone 1716-1722 and appearing like a Venetian water palais, is truly remarkable. The house was the second one constructed for his 12-headed family, the first one is just down the little cobble stone street towards the city centre, passing by an ancient beer brewery.
Johann Ignatz Tobias Böttinger (1675-1730) was a counsellor of the archbishop and made his fortune also through arms trade. This also had an influence on the wall and ceiling decors showing tribute to this fact e.g. in the representative stairs and hallway to the auditorium.
In September 2014 he will set up an installation next to the info flyers at the town hall with the topic of gender discrimination and equal rights, based on researches of a Scandinavian philosopher. You can see all current residents here.
Festspiele Bayreuth take place not far from Bamberg, there is a special collaboration with the local antiques-shops.
This liaison was established years ago and is happening during the ‘Bamberger Kunst- und Antiquitätenwochen’ where contemporary art is shown to mark a reflectable contrast.
Many visitors and short-term guests are in town and take profit of the intercultural exchange with the national and international fellows.
And left: the old town hall of Bamberg.
This artwork was purchased by the Rotary Club of Bamberg and given to the Villa as a present.
All facilities are open and usable for the residents. A boat pier has been set up to connect the riverbanks.
Also the architect who planned the additional sections of the building, Olaf Struck, by now retired, is coming over regularly to enjoy the programme, but also to get honest feedback about the practicalities of his construction.
Also in terms of collaborating with other AIRs, the Villa Concordia is engaged in fostering and setting up common projects. For example the house was hosting the annual meeting of directors of residencies this year, welcoming colleagues of about ten other AIRs, like the Villa Massimo, Rome, Centro Tedesco Di Studi Veneziani, Venice, Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta in Feldafing am Starnberger See, European House of Art Schafhof in Freising/Munich, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral in Bad Ems or the Heinrich-Böll-Haus in Cologne.
Together with the ‘Künstlerhaus Schwandorf-Fronberg’ there is the tradition of commonly setting up annual concerts at Schwandorf.
(photo by Tobias Bohm)
Photos: Tobias Bohm, A.M.;
Interview with Stephanie Weiß, deputy director, and Felix Liedel, trainee,
International Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia, 1st August 2014