In March, artist and Rijksakademie alum Floris Schönfeld will start his residency at ARTIS. For eight months Schönfeld will explore the communication between everything that lives in the park. The residency programme is a contemporary interpretation of the long-standing connection between the Rijksakademie and ARTIS. Schönfeld will hold studio in one of the 'Salmhuisjes' in ARTIS Park. The final result will be on public view in October.
Schönfeld makes work that arises from the life he observes in a specific place. He is particularly interested in the communication between different organisms. He describes his videos, films and digital technology as accounts of experiences he has. For Schönfeld, ARTIS is the perfect place to create new work and continue working on themes he finds interesting. Schönfeld: “What struck me is how rich the ecosystem in ARTIS is. It is a unique place. With all the animal species, both the animals in enclosures, and the urban animals that come to ARTIS and further life. I'm interested in how all these different animals, people, plants, microbes interact with each other.”
The Residency Programme at ARTIS was launched in 2020 in collaboration with the Rijksakademie: Schönfeld is the second resident. Application for the programme is only open to artists who have recently (within the last five years) attended the Rijksakademie. After an open call in October 2022, a jury consisting of ARTIS and Rijksakademie team members, unanimously selected artist Floris Schönfeld. Judith de Bruijn, Art & Heritage employee at ARTIS and member of the jury: “Floris's work keeps coming back to the question of how we can learn from other forms of intelligence, from other life. This is essential in our current times and we are constantly working on this in ARTIS, in the park, the Groote Museum and in Micropia. It is a great opportunity. With Floris we have an artist who can make us look at this in a completely different way again.”
In May, ARTIS will celebrate its 185th anniversary. The importance ARTIS (in full: Natura Artis Magistra) has attached to art since its foundation is already contained in its name: 'nature is the teacher of art'. Since the 19th century, Rijksakademie artists have sought out the park to draw and sculpt. ARTIS also lent animal skeletons for studies at the Rijksakademie. Former director of the Rijksakademie August Allebé (1838-1927) invariably visited ARTIS with his students. The current collaboration is a contemporary interpretation of the centuries-old bond between the two neighbouring institutions.