Event Diary of Marijke Jansen


 Sunday, 6 September, 2009

Departure from Amsterdam and arrival at Skopje airport on time at 14.30 hours. The taxi, ordered by the organisation BJCEM, was there to pick me up and brought me to the Continental Hotel; a soviet-style hotel, with over 200 rooms. Most of the participants, except a few artists, are in this hotel. Via taxi, you have to go the meeting point of the biennale, the House of Creativity and from there you can walk and see all the museums and other places of the artworks. In Skopje, the artworks were spread all over town, which gives you the possibility to learn about Skopje.

In the House of Creativity, next to the statue of Mother Theresa, and next to the place her house used to be, I was given a bag with all kinds of materials from countries participating in this biennale as well as the huge catalogues which really gives a good impression of the quality of the participating artists.

I met Alessandro Stillo, the secretary general of BJCEM, as well as the president Luigi Ratcliff. In the meantime, I also met several other people which I knew already from the biennale in Bari in 2008. Together with Maria and Bojana from Transartis, I had dinner, and later we went for a very tasty ice-cream. Maria Tuerlings gives her love to all the Res Artis members.

The weather was not what I expected, the weather forecast was totally different from the reality. I had no raincoat with me, which I needed, and my clothing was for the heat and not for the cold. That gave me an opportunity to buy some things.

Herewith some photos of the first day in Skopje.

The house of mother Theresa Diner at the House of Creativity Ice-cream, you scream, everybody loves ice-cream!

  Monday the 7th at 10 AM we, the Res Artis Award Givers, will come together in the Continental Hotel to have a first meeting. During this meeting, we will discuss how we will choose the work, how to meet the artists, etc. Not everybody has yet arrived, so this session will be repeated at least twice.

At 11.30 PM I experienced for the first time in my life an earthquake. Fortunately it was a little one, but my bed was shaking, at first I thought I was imagining it.

On Tuesday the 8th at 19.30 PM I will attend a conference about Mobility and Residence as cultural growth. It will be an open discussion. On Thursday 10th at 20.00 PM at the main square in the open air, there will be the presentation of the Res Artis Awards.

This is it for today.



Monday, 7 September, 2009

Xinxin Guo,from Beijing Studio Center, Sthabile Mlotshwa from the Thamgidi Studio Foundation, Todd Lester from freeDimensional and I met this morning at 10 AM in the Continental Hotel. From there we went by taxi to the House of Creativity to pick up the badges, catalogues, etc. Before getting there we ran into Alessandro Stillo, the secretary general of BJCEM, Federica, Julia and Cocky (staff of BJCEM) and had a coffee. After the administrative things, I showed them the building and we went off to the Ottoman part of Skopje on the north side of the river to start our tour. We stayed the whole day in this part of Skopje, with its huge market place, many mosques and ancient Turkish bathhouses and hamams. These hamams had been turned into galleries where BJCEM had installed video-installations and paintings.

We participated in part of the preparation for a food-performance by the 5 Ape Containers, making pasta by hand, in the old fashion Italian way. The performance would take 4 hours, but that was too long for us, as we had many other things to do.

In the evening, at about 6 PM, we went to the Opera House to see two pieces of modern dance. The second, a piece by the Italian choreographer Raffaele Irace, was especially moving, not only for the dance, but also the costumes.

Later we went to the main square and had our daily ice-cream.

In the morning, we met Wim Legrand and his wife Jeanne, later that day I received a text-message from Sabine Guldenfusz from Air-Krems that she had arrived.

Tomorrow morning I hope to see also the others during our breakfast meeting at 9 PM.

In the lobby of the hotel Alessandro Stillo, BJCEM
Wim Legrand and Jeanne Hoffman Pasta making in the old town


Tuesday, 8 September, 2009

At 9 AM we had a breakfast meeting. Afterwards Sabine Guldenfusz from AIR-Krems Austria and I went to the House of Creativity to collect her things. During a coffee we checked the list of the artists and where to find them in the museums and galleries. After this we went by taxi to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Ancient Ottoman town. After lunch we went to see the other places in this area. At the end of the afternoon we went by foot, via the old Stone Bridge from the 14th century back to the main square.

In the meantime, I received a text message from Felix de Clerck from Air-Antwerpen Belgium that he was on his way to the House of Creativity, I also received a message from Marcos Moraes from FAAP Brazil that he was in his way to the hotel. Jaime Humphreys from Youkobo Japan texted me he was delayed and would arrive at night.

Together with Felix and Sabine we went to see the Skopje Museum and the Mala Stanica National Gallery.

At 7 PM I had to meet Maria Tuerlings and Islam Mohamed (from Egypt) to prepare our workshop about Mobility and Creativity at 7.30 PM.

At 9 PM I saw a movie from a young Italian filmer about her life, not a very easy one coming from gypsy decent.

Later that evening I found all the others working in our “favorite” restaurant, giving each other information about what they had seen and talking about the artists they wanted to select for the awards.

exchanges of information  



Wednesday, 9 September, 2009   

Today I showed Felix from Air-Antwerpen, Belgium, Jaime Humphreys from Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo and Marcos Moreas from FAAP, Sao Paulo, Brasil all the sites. We started in the Old Ottoman area of Skopje and ended up in the south part, at the Mala Stanica National Gallery. By now I know my way around Skopje, so there is no time wasted.

the market in the Ottoman part of Skopje


In the evening at 21.00 we had a meeting in our favorite restaurant, as that was the place the residency-givers had selected to present their candidate to me. Some of them still had to speak to the artists, others already knew their choice. In any case it was complicated, so I gave some of them some extra time, until Thursday the 10th at breakfast, when the final decision had to be made.

After diner we went to a party in the Ottoman part of Skopje were we had a lot of fun, dancing to Egyptian music. From there we all went to the park on the other side of the river to dance to some Algerian music. Back in the hotel at 3 AM. The breakfast meeting was delayed till 10. These musician were also part of the BJCEM biennial. Because uFa-Fabrik, Berlin had to postpone their involvement until the next edition of the Res Artis Awards, there were no musicians selected for an award this time.

The members of Res Artis at the party    


Thursday, 10 September, 2009

Breakfast at 10 AM. The notes with the 3 names had to be presented. Todd and Jaime had the same names, which Jaime was not so happy about. He wanted to stroll around a bit more and was trying to see another artist. He also wanted to discuss his choice with Murata-san in Tokyo. I gave him more time till noon.

Felix and Marcos also had the same names, both put 3 times the name of Goran Skofic from Croatia on the list, and both were persistent and stayed persistent. They came with a solution.

Sithabile and Xinxin also had a problem, they wanted to share the artist of their choice. They wanted to first talk with the artist, so the only ones that really made up their mind were Wim Legrand and Sabine Guldenfusz. After consultation with Austria, Sabine informed me she wanted to give 2 residencies instead of one.

After breakfast I went to the pressroom at the House of Creativity, to write the press release together with Cocky from BJCEM, also to write my speech.

The presentation, planned to be on the big square, was moved to the conference room in the House of Creativity, a much better place for the presentation of the Res Artis Award winners.

In the meantime, Felix and Marcos told me that they were going to give their award to the same artist, Goran Skofic, and that they were going to stick to this. 

Xinxin Guo and Stabile Mlotshwa came also with a shared residency, one to a group of 8 performers and an artist from Cyprus. Jaime found the artist he wanted to come to Japan. In the meantime, Todd was off to travel to Istanbul, so I would present his choice.

At 8 PM the moment as there. The conference room was filled with members of the board of BJCEM, as well as the staff of BJCEM and many artists. 

See the full list of residencies and their chosen artists

All the winners were very pleased, after the ceremony we went to our favorite restaurant to have dinner together. Not only the winners were pleased, but also board and staff of BJCEM. They asked Res Artis to be present at their next edition in September 2011, in Casablanca in Morocco.

Not only myself, but all the Res Artis Award-givers are already looking forward to our 3rd edition of the Res Artis Award in Casablanca.

 From right -> left : Wim Legrand, Xinxin Guo, Felix de Clerck, Jaime Humphreys, Stabile Mlotshwa, Sabine Guldenfusz, Marcos Moraes, Alessandro Stillo (secretary-general BJCEM), ?, Luigi Ratcliff (president BJCEM). Todd Lester had already left for Istanbul. Marijke Jansen, VP of Res Artis The Res Artis Award winners without Merve Estufan and Sümer Sayin, both from Istanbul, Turkey who had already left for the biennial in Istanbul.

This experience should be repeated again and again!

On Friday September 11th, Sitable, Xinxin, Marcos and I took a taxi (2,5 hours drive) to Ohrid. In Ohrid we met Wim and his wife Jeanne. The six of us went for sightseeing and later for a delicious lunch. Ohrid is situated in the south east of Macedinia on the boarder of a huge lake. on the other side of the lake is Albania.

Back in Skopje we went the a fashion show in the opera and Ballet Theater.

On behalf of all the Res Artis members present in Skopje, I may say that we had a splendid time. We all are looking forward to the next edition of the Res Artis Awards.

2009 Res Artis Awards, Skopje