weekly meetings for a six-month-period

La Cité Internationale des Arts hosts more than 300 artists from all around the world, housing most of them in one of three buildings. I found myself in this utopian world, where everybody is an artist. While in wonder of it, I also felt that we, the Cité artist’s, were like astronauts who landed in one of Paris’ richest areas. I became interested in the other astronauts and started to go to their Open Studios. In doing so I realized we were performing standar proce- dures for getting to know others. It always started with questions like:

“What is your name?  Where are you from? How long are you here?”

Participating artists: Stéphanie Baechler, Aziyadé Baudouin-Talec, Sascha Brosamer, Osmar Domingos, Sophie Dupont, Simone Etter, Rotem Gerstel, Laura Gozlan, Sarah Haddou, Klara Hobza, Anita Holtsclaw, Sophie Innmann, Claudia Kübler, Johan Lundin, Nourhan Maayouf, France Manoush Sahatdjian, Anna McMahon, Petra Mrša, Paulien Oltheten, Christoph Poetsch, Eden Sarna, Goran Škofić, Laëtitia Striffling, Akira Takaishi, Lauren Tortil, Nicholas Vargelis, Riki Werdenigg, Julia Wirsching and others

I tried to find new possibilities to connect by organizing Closed Studios. These comprised of a group of artists from the Cité (who didn‘t know each other), meeting with a small set of rules: each artist was asked to show/perform a part of their work. After the presentation, the other artists were asked to discuss the presented work. Throughout the discussion the artist who presented was not allowed to explain their work or respond to questions, they could only listen. As the first meeting ended with a common wish for continuation, I decided to Close my Studio every week for these gatherings. Soon they became part of my artistic investigations, causing me to reflect on basic questions like, how an artist residency influences art practices.

© Gabriel Hensche 2024