Open Call: “Re-Aligning the Cosmos” Fellowship

Open Call: “Re-Aligning the Cosmos” Fellowship

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Deadline application: 02 Apr 2020

From the organizer

The Factory is pleased to announce a National Open Call for a one-year ‘Re-Aligning the Cosmos’ Fellowship – inviting visual artists living in Vietnam, to apply for its first edition (April 2020 – May 2021).

Re-Aligning the Cosmos is conceived as a twelve-month ‘Fellowship’ (curatorial mentoring in the assistance of funded field work and community liaison), exploring Vietnam’s cultural tradition of respect for the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – essential materials to our planet’s cultural and physical sustainability that have, over centuries, provided great inspiration to visual artists, writers, architects, the culinary arts and so many more in the creative industries across the world. This Fellowship seeks to dig deeper into the role, presence and meaning of these elements in contemporary life, to examine the impact of humanity on the conditions of their existence, to reflect on our devotion and disregard of cause and effect, which (at times) has caused irreversible damage of many natural wonders, despite our superstitious/spiritual reliance on their symbolic value and meaning.

This Fellowship grants one artist the opportunity to critically respond to one element and its presence in contemporary Vietnam, examining its cultural and social rituals, meanings and functions, co-developing their ideas and research with relevant local community, facilitated (with a year-long associated international public program) by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre.

Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are the five elements that govern time, space and human relations in Vietnam. Fengshui readers, shamans, divination mediums and more are common consultants for domestic, professional and spiritual conduct, subsequently designing architecture, schedules and human association. At times these symbolic investments (which often demand the employment of that element) are grossly detached from the conditions of these materials, believers predominantly unaware (or ill-informed) of their own role in the exacerbation of its resource depletion and the repercussions of its industrialized extraction. In other circumstances, the lack of social respect for spiritual practices and its employment of natural material can cause long-term detriment to particular ecologies. This investment in representation of belief (eg. temples, shrines, offerings, rituals) is in urgent need of re-connect to the environmental conditions of these very elements that guide our everyday, in the hope of re-aligning spiritual practice with social attitudes of consumption.

This ‘Fellowship’ aims to kickstart a hopeful 5 year (5 elements = 5 years) institutional program for The Factory, focusing on one ‘element’ per year, as part of its curatorial and public programs.

Re-Aligning the Cosmos is initiated and organized by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre; co-sponsored by Prince Claus Fund & Goethe Institut; co-facilitated with Fulbright University Vietnam; supported by the Public Engagement, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City.

What are the benefits and responsibilities of the selected Fellow?

– Awarded a Fellowship, to the value of up to VND200,000,000. This amount covers artist fee, artwork production fund, travel costs between Ho Chi Minh City and the chosen community of study, local accommodation, per diem and other research expenses. This fund will be finalized and managed by the chosen artist in consultation with The Factory;

– To undertake and arrange travel and research plans in close collaboration with the curatorial team of The Factory;

– To co-devise public programs with The Factory to raise awareness of his/her research particularities and to articipate in regular offline/online meetings and public programs that take place in Ho Chi Minh City throughout the year;

– To submit and implement an exhibition proposal, as a consequence of the travel and research, to be realized at The Factory in March 2021 (on view until May 2021).

Application materials:

Please submit the following documents in a PDF file (maximum 5MB) to [email protected]:

– A statement of purpose, explaining the reasons of applying for the Fellowship (one page);

– A full Curriculum Vitae and portfolio with biographic information, supporting images, video links/website (two page);

– A proposal for a project exploring the relationship between belief and a chosen element (wood, fire, earth, metal or water) , which gives background on (500 words minimum): 1. the context of the project (clearly giving details on the specific locale/community of the researched issue and existing networks of community support, if available); 2. the artistic approach and methodology; and 3. tentative timeline and budget estimates of the project using our budget template provided below

What are we looking for in the applicant?

– Clear articulation of relationship between belief, chosen element and the irony behind its exploitation/consumption;

– Commitment of care towards community most affected by environmental issue;

– Critically nuanced in sensitivities towards community (demonstrating ethical parameters of consideration towards livelihood and the need for artistic action to not jeopardize community existence);

– Known and experienced community networks of support in their research of issue;

– Critically informed of their chosen artistic methodologies (recognizing historical and comparative artistic practices that have similarly engaged said cause).

For further enquiries, please contact: [email protected]

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