OpenArtExchange is looking forward into 2023 with a new program consisting of a series of group and duo solo exhibitions, residencies, international art fairs  and other art events. This year we will focus our program on exploring various strands of thought around the phenomena of cultural identity and intercultural dialogue within a contemporary African and European context. We would like to invite interested artists to apply on or before 22 January 2023.

Are you a professional artist interested in participating in our upcoming 2023 program?

Read more and tell us about yourself! We will carefully examine your application and get in touch with you. We prefer applications in English, but French, Portuguese or Dutch is also accepted.

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Please find the link to the application form below.

 

Our 2023 program

OpenArtExchange will focus its entire 2023 program on exploring the phenomena of cultural identity and intercultural dialogue within a contemporary African and European context.  

Cultural identity is defined as one’s sense of belonging to a particular group based on a continuous building of shared knowledge such as traditions, heritage, language, aesthetics,  norms and customs. Such sense of belonging is a basic need for humans in order to feel safe, accepted and included, in order to foster self-realization and well-being. A stable cultural identity is deemed essential to build and maintain stable societies with well-functioning, happy people.

In order to belong to a cultural identity one has to distinguish oneself compared to other cultural identities. In contemporary globalized societies with its large scale migrations, vast multitude of ethnic groups, intercultural marriages, and digital transparency, cultural identity seem to have become rather complex and fluid. Many people associate themselves with different cultural identities, dependent on the unique social context, time and space at the moment of expression. As such, intercultural dialogue is essential for people to constantly negotiate and redefine themselves through the recognition of similarities and differences compared to others.

Within this contemporary context, several strands of thought regarding cultural identity and/or intercultural dialogue may be interesting to explore in our program in the coming year, for example:

  • How to preserve and deal with diversity of cultural identities and the friction that accompanies it? How to distinguish oneself and include versus exclude without harming others?
  • How are less stable, constantly shifting cultural identities impacting societies? Is that a mere outcome to respond to or could or should it be a pre-designed construct? How to respond?
  • How to define and value heritage? How do we reinforce and translate heritage into a relevant contemporary setting to keep cultural identity alive, or do we preserve and canonize certain values or indigenous cultures as critical heritage, or do we just observe marginalization or even de-canonization? How do we (re)interpret history and write new history?
  • How do we reference contemporary cultural identities? Is cultural identity to be measured against universal values? Is validity and representation of universal values sufficiently ensured or are they in essence a Utopia and is a peaceful-co-existence of different existing value systems feasible at best?
  • Is culture a mere chameleonic reflection of the economic and political powers driving societies and its people in them, or is it an independent driver of change?
  • What is the impact of digitalization on cultural identity and intercultural dialogue?
  • Etc….

Faces

Our first group exhibition “Faces” will kick-off on 9  February 2023 with a series of portraits of observed contemporary African identities from different perspectives. The group of artists consists of different generations, and originate from 4 different African countries, partly living in diaspora in Europe, and one artist from the Netherlands.  As such, “#Faces” encompasses fresh views from people living with African societies, people having lived in both African and European contexts and people living in Europe.

For later exhibitions in the program, we are still looking to take on some new artists who have a natural interest in these lines of thinking or have some other interesting related views to share.

Profile

We are looking for professional artists primarily from African descent with a dedicated fine arts education or training with a minimum of 5 years professional exhibiting practice experience and some international experience, creating art works that are reasonably easy to transport safely at reasonable costs.

Please note: Performances, photography, video’s and digital art are excluded from the selection.

As we typically combine several offline events with online representation, we would like to engage with artists with a longer term view.

 

Proces

We can only accept fully completed application forms including [1] Contact details [2] Artist Porfile [3] Artworks uploads of pictures of 5 recent works, which are submitted via the green ‘Apply here’-button below, on or before 22 January 2023. 

We aim to select a broad range of artists from different countries, different styles and different levels of experience. 

We will agree our standard conditions with selected artists upfront and expect to publish the final list of selected artists mid February 2023. We will not correspond on the reasons why artists have not been selected.

 

Our criteria for choosing high-quality artists

Artists in contemporary visual arts (o.a. drawing, painting, collage, print, photography, sculpture, multimedia, installation & performances)
Certified fine arts education at a generally acknowledged institute
Practice in non-Western country of origin/residence for at least 5 years
National and regional recognition through solo and group exhibitions and/or international artist-in-residence experience and/or other forms of recognition
Prepared to engage in a mutual longer term commitment
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