International Curatorial Residency Symposium, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Video: Lee Pretious

International Curatorial Residency Symposium 2023: Residencies for the 21st Century

  • International Curatorial Residency Symposium, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Video: Lee Pretious

Hauser & Wirth Somerset’s fourth International Curatorial Residency Symposium explored ‘Residencies for the 21st Century’ with a panel of global artists and curators from Italy, Japan, Mexico and the UK.

Moderated by Hauser & Wirth’s Senior Curatorial Director Kate Fowle, speakers Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, Yoshua Okón, Dexter Wimberly and Alessio Antoniolli explored their approaches to residencies, drawing from private, public and artist-founded models. The panel was followed by an audience Q&A and collaborative discussion.⁠

The 2023 program, which took place in London and Somerset from 10 – 15 September, was a week-long residency that united these influential leaders in the field of artist residencies. The residency concluded with this public symposium, which acted as a forum for reflection and facilitated further dialogue on a broader scale. 

The extended period together provided a unique opportunity to explore a range of pioneering approaches to residencies beyond industry standards, interrogating how these result in adventurous and often unexpected forms of creative production. Themes encompassed the role of residencies, the productive potential for curatorial thinking, as well as the politics and pitfalls around residencies in today’s cultural landscape.

During the week, the participants visited different residency models, including Gasworks, London, UK; Delfina Foundation, London, UK; and Spike Island, Bristol, UK. They also met with other artists to hear about their experiences of retreats and immersion into unknown environments.

‘My curatorial practice is driven by my desire to work closely with artists. [...] It became very clear to me that being a curator could go far beyond organising exhibitions. I could also create a platform for artists to have transformative life experiences.’—Dexter Wimberly⁠

International Curatorial Residency Symposium, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Clare Walsh

About the International Curatorial Residency Participants

Yoshua Okón
Artist Yoshua Okón lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. His work blends staged situations, documentation and improvisation, questioning habitual perceptions of reality and truth, selfhood and morality. In 2002, Okón received an MFA from UCLA with a Fulbright scholarship.

In 2009, alongside a collective of Mexican artists, Okón founded SOMA, a non-profit organization conceived to nurture discussion and exchange of ideas in the field of contemporary art and education. Responding to local needs, SOMA is a platform committed to strengthening art education, creating links and cooperation between cultural agents from different generations, contexts and nationalities, where debates, even if contradictory, can take place.

Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey
Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey is a producer, curator and editor with a background in economics, management and cultural policy. Together with designer Ab Rogers and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, she is the co-founder of DRU+, a design research and development agency operating in the fields of healthcare, culture and sustainability. Since 2016, Bertolotti-Bailey has been Co-Director of publishing, archiving and learning platform The Serving Library.

Until 2022, Bertolotti-Bailey was the CEO of Cove Park, an international artists’ residency in rural Scotland, where she initiated an experimental program of practice-based research in ecological thinking and climate justice. This included co-designing an award-winning sustainable outdoor classroom onsite, assembling a multidisciplinary symposium on climate literacy in connection with COP26, and, perhaps most importantly, shifting the residency’s methodological approach from a discipline-based model to an inquiry-focused one. 

Dexter Wimberly
Dexter Wimberly is an American curator based in Japan who has organized exhibitions in galleries and institutions around the world, including: Museum of Arts and Design, New York NY; The Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas TX; The Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte NC; KOKI Arts, Tokyo, Japan; BODE, Berlin, Germany; and The Third Line in Dubai, UAE.

Wimberly is a Senior Critic at New York Academy of Art, the Founder and Director of the Hayama Artist Residency in Japan and the Co-Founder and CEO of the online education platform, CreativeStudy. Founded in 2020, the Hayama Artist Residency introduces visual artists from around the world to Japanese culture,  offering them an opportunity to have their first gallery exhibition in Japan. Artists are not required to create new work during their residency, but they are encouraged to use their time in Japan to plan for their future and to develop new ideas.

Alessio Antoniolli
Alessio Antoniolli is the Director of Gasworks in London, a non-profit contemporary visual art organization, where he leads a program of exhibitions, international residencies and participatory events, and the Director of Triangle Network, a global network of visual art organizations. Since 2022, Antoniolli has been the curator at Fondazione Memmo in Rome, Italy, where he programs one international exhibition each year. He has lectured widely and been part of many juries, including the UK’s Turner Prize in 2019.

Kate Fowle
Kate Fowle is the Senior Curatorial Director at Hauser & Wirth, based in New York NY. Prior to joining the gallery, she was Director of MoMA PS1 in New York NY, Chief Curator and Artistic Director at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, and the Executive Director of Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York NY. She has also worked in China as the first International Curator of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and was the Co-Founder of the first Masters Program in Curatorial Practice on the West Coast of the United States in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. Fowle has curated more than 50 exhibitions internationally and initiated a number of institutional programs to support artistic research and collective practices.

International Curatorial Residency Symposium, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Clare Walsh