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Azores 2027 announces the 9 artists who will participate in the Artist in Residency Pilot Program 9 x 9

The nine artists who were selected to participate in the Azores 2027 Art in Residency pilot program, which will be held between 30th of September and the 4th of December of 2021, are already known. “9 x 9 - Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists” is a project of the Azores 2027, in partnership with the Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre and with Part'Ilha – Cultural Association for Local Development.

Among the 358 applications submitted for the open call “9 x 9 - Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists”, the jury selected nine projects in several artistic fields of music, writing, photography, textile art and performing arts that address themes such as the active participation of communities in creative processes, environmental and political causes, emigration and the creation of bridges between tradition and contemporaneity.

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For the art residency in Flores Island it was selected the project “America in Europe, Europe in America - Photographic exploration of one of the stories of the island of Flores” by Vasili Andreyev. Born in Belarus and living on Terceira island since 2017, Vasili presents as a starting point for his work the true story of 17 people from Flores who, in 1919, sent a letter to the then US Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, proposing the occupation of Flores island by the Americans. The artist proposes to analyze the personal stories of the heirs of these 17 people and answer the question “what is the island of Flores for them today: is it Europe in America or is it America in Europe?”. The project will result in a book with photographs and texts.

The artist Berta Teixeira will develop the project “Number Nine / 9X9 = 81n / 8+1= 9” on São Miguel Island. Inspired by the epistle of Simão Gonçalves Toco, the Angolan religious and nationalist leader deported by the Portuguese colonial authorities from Ponta Albina Lighthouse, Namibe, in Angola, to Ferraria Lighthouse, in São Miguel Island, the artist intends to make a Performance-Letter “with strong visual and narrative component also suitable for people with vision impairment”, focused on the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

The Portuguese-Taiwanese artist Ching-Yu Cheng is the author of the selected proposal for the island of Corvo entitled “Creating a mimic-google-street-device on wheel as mobile art installation; documenting the landscape of inhabitants of Corvo”. The artist found out that there’s no access to google-street-view function for Corvo Island, and had the idea to create her own mobile-art-installation “on wheel” to work as a mimic-google-street-view-device (cart) as an art action or performance, meanwhile the installation becomes a media to connect with the local community through the process of walking into the local urban textures and bringing art to the streets “thoroughly and physically”. The final result will be “a unique landscape in the Corvo, from intangible cultural and humane side, instead of producing Google's 'Street View'.” The artist also proposes that the mobile device become a Taiwanese food stand, promoting interculturality.

“Land Vessels — Moorings to the Sea” is the art residency project that will take place in Santa Maria. Mariana Sales Teixeira (Azores) proposes to “revolve traditionally domestic arts and crafts with nautical ones in a collaborative and participative project with the local community”. After collecting textile material that people from the island want to donate or exchange (sheets, towels, curtains), the artist will make a collection from the fishing and artisan community of different types of knots, moorings, bows and stitches in various techniques, making use of the donated textile material. The aim is to produce a sculptural textile piece in collaboration with the local community.

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“Old World – Terceira” by artist Margarida Correia was the selected art residency proposal for Terceira and consists of a photographic project with the Portuguese-American community on the island. The artist proposes to make portraits in a domestic environment, to research images from personal archives and to collect stories to build new narratives. The project by artist Miguel Maduro Dias, born in Angra do Heroísmo, “The water we have and the water we lack”, was chosen to take place on Graciosa Island. Inspired by the theme of Water, Miguel proposes a musical project involving choirs, philharmonics, schools, artists and the community of Graciosa. A choral and vocal workshop is also planned.

"9 dias. 9 canções” (9 days. 9 songs), by Elina Stolde, a Latvian artist living in Porto, was the project selected for São Jorge Island and consists of the creation of nine concert – performance program with 9 songs rooted in traditional music of Azores, involving folk groups from São Jorge Island. The artist will also organise a workshop on traditional Latvian music.

The “boca do caminho” project, by artist Lula Pena (Lisbon), will be implemented on Pico Island and consists “in the elaboration of a script, either in text or image and in sound recordings of informal or structured conversations with the local community, as well as capturing field sounds, whether from farming or leisure, or simply from the personal daily life of the community”, with the aim of composing a radio play.

“cartas de um vulcão para o mundo” (letters from a volcano to the world), by writer Judite Canha Fernandes (Azores), was the project selected for Faial Island and proposes “providing literary experiences of narration in the first person, taking advantage of the the possibility of making an art residency in the house where the first President of the Portuguese Republic lived”. The project also foresees the holding of a lecture and a writing workshop. The texts that result from this workshop will be sent, in the form of a letter, to the residents of the island of Faial.

Each selected artist that will be in this art residency program for 10 days, will receive a fee of €1,500 (including the current VAT rate, if applicable, and other charges), will also have at their disposal a production grant of up to €1,000 and will have logistical support that includes accommodation, food and transportation.

The "9 x 9 - Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists" Appreciation Committee is composed by João Mourão and Sofia Botelho (for the Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre), Alexandre Pascoal (member of Azores 2027 Advisory Board) and by António José Silva and Mónica Benevides (members of Part’ilha - Cultural Association for Local Development).

The evaluation criteria were: the originality of the art residency project (40%), the consonance with the objectives of the 9 x 9 program (15%), the adequacy of the art residency project to the island (15%), activities of sharing and developing audiences during the art residency (10%) and the artist's biography and previous experience (20%).

This art residency program has the support of various agents, institutions and municipalities of the nine islands of the Azores.