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The presentation of Residency for Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH)

17 June 2016 Kindly invited to the presentation of Residency for Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH), on Friday, 17th June, at 7pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The residency program will be presented by RFAOH co-directors Shinobu Akimoto & Matthew Evans.

Residency for Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH) is a virtual yet functioning residency available to artists who, for one reason or another, are not currently making or presenting art. The residency exists in the form of a website only and the residents are selected based on their proposals of “on-hiatus” activities (or nonactivities) through international calls. Represented on a dedicated page within the RFAOH website, selected residents post periodic reports on their “non-art” endeavours, and visitors of their pages can leave comments or share their reports. Each resident receives a small stipend for their participation, and in the end submits a final report on how they benefited or were otherwise influenced by this opportunity.

Recognizing how contemporary art practices have become increasingly institutionalized with the growing number of MFA programs, contemporary art biennales, and the global art market, we were interested in exploring alternative systems to accommodate the very real pressures artists face throughout their careers to keep up with the demands of the art world. Since its launch in 2013 with Taiwanese-American senior artist Tehching Hsieh joining our advisory board, RFAOH has hosted twelve international artists-on-hiatus with a diverse range of backgrounds and proposals. Their non-art endeavours have varied widely, including group meditation, organic gardening, opening up a bar, reshaping a college art program as a department head, and unexpectedly undergoing open-heart surgery. Canadian editor Amish Morrell asked in an interview: “is participating in RFAOH an admission of defeat (as an artist)?" We have been fascinated by how differently all our residents have negotiated this question, while exploring this space between artmaking and other forms of creative endeavour, and the limits and liminalities of professionalism in the arts.

We are thrilled to introduce Residency For Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH) to Alkatraz Galleryʼs community, where one of our inaugural resident artists-on-hiatus Ms. Milena Kosec will join us and talk about her experience at RFAOH. We will also bring RFAOH limited edition multiples (t-shirts, Iphone cases etc) for this occasion. We look forward to meeting and having an invigorating discussion with the local Ljubljana artists and artists-on-hiatus alike.

Shinobu Akimoto / Matthew Evans
RFAOH co-directors

A native of Japan, Shinobu Akimoto started living and working in Canada in early 1990ʼs and became known as a visual artist through national and international presentations of her conceptually-based installations. Preoccupied with the concept of artmaking as lifestyle, her projects have explored the intersection between lifestyle and creativity in such a way that begs the question of what, if anything, demarcates art apart from all other types of creative endeavours, or artists from other creative individuals. Currently dividing her time between Canada and Japan, she contemplates on alternative strategies for engaging in contemporary art through extended means and pathways, in order to communicate our diverse artistic experiences in a broader capacity. She continues to use artmaking as a means to follow the lifestyle she wants to live. For more information, please visit:

Matthew Evans is a Canadian artist and medical illustrator based in Montreal, whose projects explore a fluid understanding of context and its relationship with the creative process. Themes of waiting, killing time and anticipation are ones he has returned to again and again, with the idea that they represent a kind of conceptual space of unknowable potential where everything and nothing are conceivably happening simultaneously. He remains committed to his practice out of an intuitive faith in nonsense, as an open ended and discursive strategy where important questions may freely emerge in a way that fosters new modes of understanding and empathy. He has exhibited and screened his work internationally since the mid 1990ʼs.

Akimoto and Evans have collaborated at various times in the past. At other times, both artists have gone on temporary hiatus from their artistic practices.


Video of the presentation of Residency for Artists on Hiatus, 17th June 2016