With art beyond borders
“Theoretically. Writing one page takes her around three hours, nine tram rides should do it. A book of 200 pages could be written during 1800 tram rides which, considering she takes the tram twice a day, equals two and a half years of work. Or three, if you take into account weekends and some free days. Three years for a novel, that doesn’t sound bad. Theoretically. But she just can’t make it work in practice.
To start working the very second tram doors close and finish when the “Please leave the train” sounds goes off is pure madness. In theory, you can do anything. Write whenever and wherever because if you can’t, it surely is just an excuse… and sometimes it really is. Authors often use their family or work or lack of time as an excuse.
Four out of my five books were written abroad. The first one in my parents’ apartment when they left for the summer. I admire authors who can write in between everyday work, meetings, errands. I could never do this. (…) But creative stays somewhere else are not always a rose garden full of ideas either. They never are for me actually. Working abroad is not only a way to gain some continuous time free of duties and distractions but also a way to make myself actually do something. (…)
I finished my latest book “Taiga Station” in Amsterdam. I started it half a year before that when travelling around Siberia all by myself. You don’t necessarily need a house for authors to be able to write outside your home in peace. But is usually is a great help. Especially, but not only, a financial one. That’s why I am and always will be grateful for these several opportunities I had when I could write in peace somewhere else.”
(excerpt from a publication Umělci bez hranic (“Artists without borders”), written by the Czech author Petra Hůlová)
What about you and borders?
- Do you work in the field of culture? Look beyond borders. The European information network On the move gathers calls to festivals, exhibitions, residence offers and participation in different projects for both theorists and curators. An information leaflet might come in handy in the beginning. It is meant for all artists who want to experience and understand the European idea of mobility. It is available in English, French, Italian and German.
- Are you longing for overseas? What might a residence in the US look like? A promotional video from Residence Unlimited might give you an idea. Would you like more options? A global network of residences for creative people, curators and artists Res Artis might help. Alternatively try Trans Europe Halles.
- Would you like to paint or draw ten minutes away from the sea? You can. The internet page Trans Artists offers different advertisements for atelier and studio rentals.
- Can you make a living as an artist? There is an exchange of job offers called Art and Job in the UK. You can also try the global network New Art Jobs or the American portal Art Jobs.
- Where can you look for residential programs and free ateliers in Prague and around? Here are a few tips to begin with: residential programs in MeetFactory v Praze, Egon Schiele Art Centrum v Českém Krumlově, Divo Institut in Kolín, commercial palace Orco, communication space Školská 28, Air Futura or ateliers in the Prague district of Karlín.