The role of artist residencies within the art system

Gachi Prieto, founder of Gallery Gachi Prieto and the residency program Proyecto PAC in Buenos Aires, shares her perspective on the importance of artist residencies in the contemporary art system.

Gachi Prieto emphasizes the need for more affective exchanges and interdependence within the art world, moving beyond the sole focus on the art market. Her insights shed light on the transformative power of residencies in fostering deeper connections, exploration, and research in the artistic process.

Gachi Prieto believes that the art system is more than just a market; it is a complex web of interdependence involving curators, artists, collectors, managers, and gallerists. She states, "If we all understand what this work is about, and we are all passionate about it, and we all share that passion and that professional way of working from it, contemporary art issues can flourish, can grow, can be presented in a more interesting way." Gachi Prieto's emphasis on collective understanding and shared passion highlights the role of artist residencies in cultivating a supportive ecosystem for artistic development.

According to Gachi Prieto, galleries often operate within a fast-paced environment, focused on presenting finished artworks. However, she believes that the process of maceration, exploration, and research that underlies the surface of an artwork is equally important. Artist residencies provide the necessary time and space for artists to delve deeper into their practice, to experiment, and to undertake research. This slower, contemplative pace allows artists to explore their ideas more thoroughly and create work that is meaningful and thought-provoking.

Gachi Prieto acknowledges that contemporary art enthusiasts and collectors increasingly seek to understand the context and process behind the artworks. Residencies offer the opportunity for visitors to witness the evolution of an artwork, to understand its origins, and to engage with the artist's creative journey. The founder states, "They want to see why, where does that work come from, what is it talking about? How was it made? How was the process of evolution of that work until it became what it is today." Artist residencies, with their focus on exploration and research, provide a platform for artists to share their process and engage viewers in a deeper appreciation of the artwork.

Gachi Prieto highlights the transformative nature of artist residencies, which often involve stepping out of one's comfort zone. Artists may face unfamiliar surroundings, language barriers, or cultural differences during their residency experiences. However, she believes that these challenges are motivators for personal and artistic growth. By embracing these unfamiliar situations, artists can learn about themselves, expand their perspectives, and develop new ways of creating and thinking about art.

Gachi Prieto's insights on the role of artist residencies within the art system emphasize the importance of fostering affective exchanges, exploration, and research in contemporary art. Residencies provide artists with the necessary time and space to delve deeper into their practice, engage in cross-cultural exchanges, and develop meaningful connections with fellow artists and communities. By embracing the challenges and opportunities offered by residencies, artists can expand their artistic horizons and create work that resonates on a deeper level. As the art world continues to evolve, artist residencies play a fundamental role in enriching the cultural landscape.