A decade ago, the Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klee introduced a landmark educational template that is now being reinvented by the reestablished Sommerakademie Paul Klee (SPK), beginning in August 2017.
The new Sommerakademie Paul Klee, under artistic director Tirdad Zolghadr, is a fully funded program offering artists a departure from business as usual, without becoming an exhausting interruption in its own right. It caters to practitioners working at a postgraduate level, whether or not they have an official certificate saying so. Professional experience and intellectual appetite are the main requirements.
Over two summer sessions eight residents are granted access to the university’s outstanding infrastructure and technical support. Although based on the idea of an academy, the aim is to transcend the blueprint of seminars and tutorials, and to focus on group research and cross-professional coalition building. Back in the 2000s, there were few examples of summer retreats as proposed by the Zentrum Paul Klee. Our new program builds on this pioneering idea, while proposing a more complex blend of theory and practice, discourse and production. With its atypical timeline and exceptional infrastructure, the SPK combines collective inquiry with the perks of production-oriented residencies. The SPK is a fully funded program, covering room, travel and visa expenses. This in close partnership with international art institutions such as KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin.
Both in terms of a concrete curatorial theme and a fundamental working premise, the SPK seeks to account for the consequences of Contemporary Art. It traces the impact artists effectively have on the world around them, and works towards possibilities of reclaiming and steering that leverage. As such, it asks how the traction of Contemporary Art, as is, can be used to maximum effect, here and now.