In 2018 we (Johanna Klinkler and Amir Saifullin) started to organise formats focusing on exchange (originally) between Russian and German artists and cultural workers under the name Portal. Inspired by Residency 11:11 and under the name Portal Domestic Residency, we founded a residency programme in our apartment in Berlin Neukölln in November 2019.
Our initial aim was to challenge habits of perceiving or rather judging art taking into consideration respective relations of production, and to interrogate and link different artistic strategies, which try to develop community and exchange as well as emancipatory scopes within given structures. As Portal we do not aim to develop an exclusive program linked to the initiative, but to find and possibly provide space for exchange starting from different connecting points.
So far, we have organised an exhibition called Portal – A Visual Research, together with our friend and curator Ilya Samarukov from Samara, which was happening as part of a residency at Lothringer13_Florida Munich. This exhibition brought together artists from Samara (Russia), where there is no institutional art education, and Munich, which has numerous contemporary art museums as well as an academy of fine art. As our second step, we have published a book, called Portal, which brings together contributions from Russia and Germany, respectively in both languages. The contributions happened to evolve around four thematic blocks: radical education, health, self-organisation and game as a method.
With our residency, we try to use the space we have and to stay independent form dependencies within the art scene. We invite residents with a research focussed question or idea to carry out over the short time of about one week. In advance, we try to arrange meetings with relevant people from Berlin. To conclude the residency, we also plan a public/semi-public event for the resident to present their work. So far this has one been in our apartment (screening & dinner with Isa Jacobs) as well as at the bookshop Hopscotch Reading Room (presentation by Anastasia Dmitrievskaya). As we meet people, we are getting new suggestions for collaborations, for example in regard to space to get together or present something, predominately from other self-organised initiatives.
Furthermore, we work together with the Russian online-magazine syg.ma. At the moment, we are developing a continuous collaboration to edit, translate and publish text pieces in Russian and English.
At the moment, we do not have an open call, but are open for suggestions and all kinds of ideas and inquiries. We plan things step by step, taking into consideration, which format would suit the resident format and how to receive the support they/we need. Of course, we are open to everyone who would like to get in touch!
Visit our instagram Instagram account to find our more: @portalportalprojects
You can also order our book Portal, published by Hammann von Mier Verlag, Munich/Moscow 2019 from us for free (+ shipping fee).
Photo: Screening Isa Jacobs