Back Apartment Residencies

2017 Participants

Poland
Warsaw
Visual Arts

Born in Wrocław, Poland in 1966, Baumgart is post-conceptual artist, director and stage designer. She is a multimedia artist who represents a feminist perspective focused on personal, often hidden, problems and obsessions, also delving into the subject of “Other” in culture.

Baumgart works in video, installation, performance, sculpture, and artistic tattoo. Her works are in prestigious collections including Hauser & Wirth, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, the Zachęta National Gallery, Collection of European Parliament and Silesian Art Museum, and the National Museum in Warsaw. Her many films have been screened throughout the world and Fresh Cherries was awarded the audience award for the best video of the Loop Festival in Barcelona.

During her residency in St. Petersburg, Baumgart reconstructed the work of the Moscow-based conceptual artist group Collective Actions. The project involved 15-20 people — philosophers, sociologists, artists — responding to a phone invitation to take a trip outside the city and later discussing the experiences. This investigation into human agency, paranoia and surveillance was filmed by Anna and her partner Grzegorz Pacek. During her stay Anna also screened her film Conquerors of the Sun at the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater. Her residency was organized in collaboration with the Polish Institute in St. Petersburg.

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United States
Cary
North Carolina
Visual

Michael Bramwell‘s career of over twenty years brings conceptually-based and socially-engaged work to interdisciplinary discussions about human agency, ethical consciousness and the role of culture in shaping built environments.

During his time in St. Petersburg Bramwell worked on Cultural Maintenance-Russia, an international, practice-based project that investigates the anonymous, invisible labor of maintenance workers who work within cultural sites worldwide. The St. Petersburg segment identified janitors at the Hermitage Museum, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art and Palace Square, and collaborated with them in the performance of their duties. Bramwell also delivered a lecture entitled I Like Kabakov and Kabakov Likes Me: From Kommunalkas to the Projects and conduct a professional development workshop for emerging and mid-career artists.

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United States
Baltimore
Maryland
Photography

Lynn Cazabon uses a diversity of media including photography, audio, animation, and video to create installations, public displays, websites, mobile applications, and community collaborations.

In St. Petersburg, she explored and documented wild/unintentional plants surviving in the corners and crevices of urban St. Petersburg and created and staged a collaborative community event centered on these plants. Cazabon planned to realize a local version of Uncultivated, an ongoing project that had already taken place in eight U.S. cities and in Wroclaw, Poland. Uncultivated was a multi-faceted, modular project focused on wild plants in urban landscapes.

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Cuba
Havana
Photography

Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde was born in Berlin, Germany in 1969 and currently lives and works in Havana, Cuba. He is an artist, curator and Director of the Fototeca de Cuba (National Museum and Gallery of Photography). Ramirez de Arellana was also chief curator of Fototeca de Cuba from 2001 to 2010 and as curator won the National Curatorial Award in 2006 for the exhibition The City and Photography: Havana 1900-2005 organized for the IX Havana Biennial. He is the founder and organizer of the Havana Month of Photography Noviembre Fotográfico and an internationally recognized contemporary artist, who as member of the team “Liudmila & Nelson,” represented Cuba at the 53rd Venice Biennial.

Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde travelled to St. Petersburg in April 2017 to take part in the exhibition Shifting Metaphores: Cuba in Changing Times, Cuban Contemporary Photography and Video Art at the State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO. The exhibition was curated by Ramirez de Arellano Conde, together with St. Petersburg curator Yana Mikhalina. The exhibition provided a rare glimpse of contemporary Cuba through photographs by 18 Cuban photographers. The exhibition opened on April 20 and ran through June 25, 2017.

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United States
Brooklyn
New York
Sculpture

De St. Croix’s work is primarily concerned with the environment: creating large-scale sculptural installations. His artworks and research is driven by the need to increase understanding of our shared social, political, environmental, and cultural challenges, within local communities, and in the global arena. Much of his work features large-scale sculptural installations: “monumental miniaturizations” of specific natural or man-made landscapes. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally in solo and group shows.

De St. Croix intended to continue his research and developed a series of sculptures for a solo exhibition at Mass MoCA in 2019 based on intensive interdisciplinary field research and community outreach that examined geopolitical issues in the world. In St. Petersburg, he investigated St. Petersburg’s relationship to the sea; the city has been affected by rising water levels in recent decades. De St. Croix planned to conduct preliminary studies for future landscape artworks reflective of St. Petersburg complex dilemma with nature and climate based on interviews with scientists, engineers and caretakers of the city’s major heritage sites along with extensive documentation.

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United States
New York
New York
Theater

David J. Diamond is a curator of La MaMa Umbria International programs for theatre artists in Spoleto, Italy. As a theatre artist, David has directed plays, produced live performances, and co-created the theatre company The Barrow Group in New York. He was the Back Apartment Residency fellow in 2017.

Diamond built on the connections he developed during his previous residency and met with new theatre artists to share a variety of approaches to creating live performances. He delved into St. Petersburg’s theatre education system to examine the best practices of the artists who are helping the next generation of theatre-makers develop their skills and shared his experience with students at St. Petersburg’s leading universities.

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United States
New York
New York
Multi-media

New York based ZERO1 Art and Technology artist Dr. Les Joynes is recipient of CEC Grants for Mongolia (2014) and St. Petersburg (2017). He created US-Mongolian contemporary performances at Zanabazar Museum of Art, Ulaanbaatar and in Russia the photo series “где Ленин?” documenting Soviet Monuments and Memory.

Following his CEC grant Les returned to Mongolia to lead US DoS-sponsored research on the arts and education and chair the Young Researchers Conference. He is now selected for the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award.

A native of Southern California Les studied at Goldsmiths, London, and completed his PhD in the Faculty of Art, Environment and Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK and post-doctorate at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He was was Erasmus Scholar at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts, Japan Ministry of Culture Scholar at Musashino Art University and Fellow at University of the Arts London Research Center on Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN).

A scholar on contemporary visual cultures at Columbia University Les is a contributor to the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) and an editor for ProjectAnywhere, a peer-reviewed journal at University of Melbourne Australia and Parsons School of Design in New York. Les served on the Taipei Biennial “Sites of Desire” curatorial team as well as exhibitions in the UK and Japan and is a Fellow at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London. 

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United States
Scarsdale
New York
Video/Film

Working in 16mm, super 8 and video, Cynthia Madansky’s films and videos integrate hybrid forms and traditions including experimental tropes, cinema verité, scripted narrative, ethnographic observation and dance and performance while interrogating the concept of personal responsibility and national accountability. She addresses cultural and political themes and illustrates the consequences of politics on the daily lives of individuals.

Madansky planned to work on preproduction for ESFIR a 16mm film of Women, a script by Esfir Shub. Shot in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia, ESFIR examined the current status of women in Russia, the influence of poetry on Shub’s editing practice and the phenomenon of women film editors in the Film Factory in Russia. During the one month residency, she scouted locations in St. Petersburg for the film and conduct interviews with local feminists about the status of women in Russia. Madansky also planned to teach a master class and screen a selection of her films at the Saint Petersburg State University and the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio.

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Finland
Helsinki
Installation

Henna Paunu is a chief curator of the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), Finland. Apart from her work at the museum, Paunu curates public art, works as a critic, writer and part-time teacher of art history at the Aalto University in Helsinki. She is also a board member at Frame Contemporary Art Finland. In her curatorial work, Paunu explores the relation of contemporary art to environmental and social phenomena.

While in St. Petersburg, Paunu planed to build new relationships with the local art community that could potentially result in future collaborations with art professionals. During her stay, Paunu gave a talk about public art projects and commission works in Espoo, Finland.

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Cuba
Havana
Photography

Born in Argentina in 1948, to Jewish parents of Polish descent, Enrique Rottenberg emigrated alone to Israel at the age of 13. After serving in the Israeli army, he developed a successful real estate business, while at the same time, beginning in 1980, he started producing films and studies at the Camera Obscura School of Tel Aviv. He was the director and screenwriter of the film Revenge of Itzik Finkelstein, which won 7 awards from the Israeli Film Academy (including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay) and represented Israel in 1994 for the Oscar Awards. In 1993, he moved to Cuba where he currently lives. In Cuba he began his photographic work and installations. He collaborated with the new cultural project “Cuban Art Factory” (Fábrica de Arte Cubano), promoting the development of contemporary photography and visual arts in Cuba.

Enrique Rottenberg traveled to St. Petersburg in April 2017 to take part in the exhibition Shifting Metaphores: Cuba in Changing Times, Cuban Contemporary Photography and Video Art at the State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO. The exhibition was curated by Ramirez de Arellano Conde, together with St. Petersburg curator Yana Mikhalina. The exhibition provided a rare glimpse of contemporary Cuba through photographs by 18 Cuban photographers. The exhibition opened on April 20 and ran through June 25, 2017.

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United States
Los Angeles
California
Multidisciplinary

Kim Schoen experiments with photography, video installation, and text, taking existing representations as her starting point. Her interest in photography and repetition led her to curate international symposia such as Remembering Forward at LAXART in Los Angeles, and Returning to Berlin at Motto Books in Berlin. She is also the co-founder, publisher and editor of MATERIAL, a journal of writing by artists.

Taking mutual incomprehension as her starting point, Schoen attempted translations between Russian and English. In a country where she has a family history but no linguistic knowledge Schoen saw language as a blank page on which to draw out the inherent instabilities and comic possibilities of the process.

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United States
Brooklyn
New York
Multidisciplinary

Diana Shpungin is a Latvian-born artist based in Brooklyn whose work includes drawing, sculpture, installation, hand-drawn animation, video and sound. Shpungin has exhibited her work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, Marella Arte Contemporenea in Milan and others. Reviews of her work have appeared in publications such as Artforum, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, and The New York Times.

Shpungin intended to study collective memory and its functions through existing and destroyed architecture in St. Petersburg. She hoped to use this research to create a public art project with community involvement for the 2018 Art Prospect Festival. This new public project built on a recent large scale project Drawing Of A House (Triptych), which was a monumental, participatory work for SiTE:LAB in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Grand Rapids in the US.

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France
Paris
Multidisciplinary

Damien Zhang is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Musée Zadkine in Paris. He also works independently, organizing exhibitions with Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Galerie Untilthen in Paris as well as with Red Gate Residency in Beijing. In 2015, he was the Artistic Director of the 6th edition of Sciences Po Prize of Contemporary Art. Damien’s writing is found in Le Quotidien de l’Art, Prussian Blue and Art Trade Journal.

Zhang’s residency in St. Petersburg was largely dedicated to studio visits as well as meeting with curators and museum professionals to establish partnerships. In addition, he continued his ongoing research into Russian born artist Ossip Zadkine.

Netherlands
Amsterdam
Video/Film

Pim Zwier is an independent filmmaker and media artist focusing on documentaries, short films and media installations. His recent work investigates the link between past and present by examining and utilizing archival materials.

He used this opportunity to work on a series of multigenerational video-portraits of local men and women. Inspired by the early work of the Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorskii, Zwier employed a vintage photographic process of color separation to create these video-portraits.


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