a natural oasis? call

a natural oasis?
a transnational research program 2016

deadline for application: wednesday, june 1st, 23:59

repubblica di san marino - rsm

A Natural Oasis? | A Transnational Research Program

curated by Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi

A long term training and research program aiming at the realization of a special project for MEDITERRANEA 18, Young Artists Biennale 2017, open to curators, art writers and cultural researchers, under 34




A Natural Oasis? is a two years nomadic free school dedicated to the development of new curatorial research paths in the field of contemporary visual and performing arts starting from the geopolitical peculiarities of the artistic scenes of San Marino, Montenegro, Kosovo and Malta.

The purpose of this project is to build a transnational cultural platform able to critically question the ideas of territorial remoteness/marginality/smallness through the lenses of artistic research, triggering a reflection on the fictional procedures that empowered the idea of Europe in its geopolitical and cultural immunity via the exclusion or the vampirization of its “provinces”.

The project aims to develop radical curatorial and artistic discourses assuming geo-cultural areas as polemical fields in which a precise ecology of fluxes describe their cultural, economical and political morphology. More over, this project focuses on the controversial shortage of cultural professionals in “peripheral” cultural and artistic systems in relationship with ongoing processes of educational centralization and with the concentration of artistic legitimation processes in big European “centres”.

A Natural oasis? is a transnational research training based on the tools that social sciences provide to contemporary cultural practices and develops specific context-aware professional figures in the frame of a global contemporary artistic scene. The aim of the project is the development of what we can call situated practices in the context of a specific locality but with a transnational perspective.

A Natural Oasis? bases its working methodology on the tactics of conversational and dialogical research and on the main strategies of oral history. In this view, work sessions, visiting professors’ lectures and seminars will be characterized by a discursive approach based on study and in-depth analysis but also on storytelling and educational settings. The project privileges an idea of knowledge production through direct rough experience and travelling experiences in the territories accompanied and tutored by local partners.

The final result of A Natural Oasis? will be a editorial object, which will include critical essays and visual researches developed by curators, visiting professors and participants during the program. The book will be presented during a performed seminar at MEDITERRANEA18 Young Artists Biennale 2017.

Natural Oasis? is dedicated to contemporary art critic and teacher Roberto Daolio who devoted himself to study the methods through which the projects of young artists and their languages could be developed.

A Natural Oasis? is curated by:

Simone Frangi (1982) is a cultural researcher, art writer and curator. He holds a French-italian PhD in Aestethics and Theory of Art. He’s currently artistic director of Viafarini – Non profit Organization for Contemporary Artistic Research (Milan, IT) and co-curator of Live Works – Performance Act Award at Centrale Fies (Trento, IT). He’s Lecturer of Theory of Contemporary Art at Fine Arts and Design Academy in Grenoble, where he recently founded the workshop and residency based research program “Practices of Hospitality”.

Alessandro Castiglioni (1984) is responsible for the research activity at the MA*GA. He is lecturer of Art and Design History at Istituto Marangoni, Milan. Curator of Little Constellation Network.

The Residential Summer School in Montegiardino, Republic of San Marino (July 2016) will welcome two visiting professors:

Svetlana Racanovic, independent contemporary art critic and curator based in Montenegro. Graduated in History of Art Faculty for Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbia. M.A. degree from the Management of Cultural and Artistic Activities, Dijon, France. Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty for Drama Arts, Belgrade. Author/curator of the: The Fridge Factory and Clear Waters Presentation of Marina Abramovic Community Center Obod Cetinje, 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, Montenegrin pavilion, 2011.

Flaka Haliti (born in 1982, Prishtina) lives in Munich. Haliti studied at the University of Prishtina and Städelschule, Frankfurt/M, and is currently working toward her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Her artistic practice is based on conceptual ideas and relates in its critical analyses of media and society to her distinctly European perspective. Haliti’s work was presented at venues including Mumok, Vienna; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; 6th Moscow Biennial, Moscow; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; Kosovo Art Gallery, Prishtina; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and Portikus, Frankfurt/Main. In 2016, she represented Kosovo at the 56th Venice Biennale.

The field trips will by accompanied by local partners and visiting professors:

Pier Paolo Coro artist/curator based in Republic of San Marino founder of Little Constellation Network – Contemporary arts in geo-cultural micro areas and small States of Europe.

Albert Heta artistic director and Vala Osmani manager director of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art, Pristhina; artists / curators based in Kosovo.

Natalija Vujosevic artist/curator based in Montenegro, founder of the independent association Institute for Contemporary Art Montenegro, as well as a micro-publishing project Trema

Georgina Portelli Psycolinguistic researcher, based in Malta. She is a specialist in concept formation, language representation and multilingualism. She works extensively in Education, Culture and the Arts and has a particular interest in creative partnerships between Art, Science and other disciplines. She is currently Chair of the Creativity Trust (Malta) and a board member of ‘Fondazzjoni Kreattivita’ at the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta and founding member of ISTRA a contemporary art and research foundation.

Pierre Portelli artist/curator based in Republic of Malta. He works mainly in conceptual art and site specific installation art. He studied Design at Swindon School of Art and Design in England. He is a founding member of ‘START’, a Maltese contemporary art group, and ISTRA, a contemporary art and research foundation. He lecturers at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences at the University of Malta.

The whole program will welcome lectures and contributions from more professors, curators and artists / curators.

A Natural Oasis? is promoted and developed by:

San Marino Cultural Institutes within the program of affiliation to the BJCEM Bienniale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in collaboration with Viafarini – Non profit Organization for Contemporary Artistic Research.

In partnership with:

Institute of Contemporary Art Montenegro, Cetinje;
Inizjamed of the Republic of Malta;
Stacion Center for Contemporary Art in Prishtina;
Republic of Kosovo.


Young artists aged up to 34 (born from January 1st 1982) shall send the following:

A) a dossier documenting their studies and research and/or new projects as well as the methodology characterizing their specific field (compressed Pdf, Quick Time or MP3 formats of max. 6MB).

B) a motivational letter proving their specific interest in the program and, in particular, for the theoretical matters detailed in point 1 (max. 1 page).

C) application form, downloadable from www.bjcem.org

All the dossiers, motivational letters and application forms shall be sent to info.istituticulturali@pa.sm not later than June 1st 2016. Any application not complying with the requirements will be automatically rejected.


The dossiers will be evaluated at their incontestable discretion by curators Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi and a total number of 8 practitioners will be selected: 1 from San Marino, 1 from Montenegro, 1 from Kosovo, 1 from Malta, 1 from Italy and 3 others freely selected among applications coming also from other countries, not necessarily BJCEM members. Particular attention will be given to applications coming from the Southern Mediterranean Area. Should no dossier fulfil the requirements for admission, the commission reserves itself the right to redistribute the quotas established for each Country for general selections.


The participants will be selected during the week following the deadline for application detailed in the announcement and selection results will be communicated immediately.

The accommodation expenses for the young artists, curators and professors, coming from foreign countries, will be covered by the hosting country, except for the night in Milan between July 21st and 22nd. In order to facilitate the participation of the young artists, curators and professors, Bjcem will cover and directly buy the flights tickets up to a maximum amount of 650 Euro for each selected participant. In case the travel expenses exceed this amount, the artist should guarantee the coverage of the extra amount.


A Natural Oasis? will be develop as a Summer School that will start in San Marino and will continue in Milano, Kosovo, Montenegro and Malta. This will be the program:

Steps 1 San Marino and 2 Milan

Residential Summer School in the Municipality of Montegiardino, in the Premises of the University of the Republic of San Marino, from July 16th to 21st July, 2016.
Lecture performances in Viafarini Milan, July 21st 2016.

Steps 3 Kosovo and 4 Montenegro

Field trip to Kosovo, from August 28th to 30th 2016, guest of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Arts, Prishtina.
Field trip to Montenegro, in Center for Contemporary Art of Montenegro Podgorica and in Cetinje, from August 30th to September 2nd 2016.

Step 5 Malta

Field trip, from October 7th to 10th 2016.

Step 6

Working sessions on the editorial project, from October 2016 to January 2017.

Step 7

Performed seminar and presentation of the book A Natural Oasis? in MEDITERRANEA 18 Young Artists Biennale, March – April 2017.

The program may be subject to changes.


This announcement and the attendance at A Natural Oasis? do not preclude the possibility to apply for future BJCEM national and/or international announcements with different personal projects and be selected. Also the curators and artists who have already participated in the previous editions of the Biennial can apply for A Natural Oasis? Priority will be given to the artists that have never attended previous events.


Cultural Institutes BJCEM Board, Republic of San Marino. Please contact Mrs. Rita Canarezza, tel. 00378 0549 882453; 0039 335 6509052; rita.canarezza@pa.sm

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, BJCEM Partner, Republic of Kosovo. Please contac Ms.Vala Osmani, tel. 00381 038222576 info@stacion.org

Inizjamed BJCEM Board, Republic of Malta. Please contact Mr. Adrian Grima, tel. 00356 79279586 adrian.grima@um.edu.mt

Institute of Contemporary Art, Cetinje, Montenegro. Please contact Ms. Natalija Vujosevic tel. 0038267556378; isucrnagora@gmail.com

Viafarini - Non Profit Organisation for Contemporary Artistic Research, Milan, Italy. Please contact: viafarini@viafarini.org

www.bjcem.org | www.mediterraneabiennal.org | www.viafarini.org | www.littleconstellation.org