BIŠEVO SUMMER / BILjET 2021 – VOYAGER
The offshore island of Biševo often thought of as paradise on earth, gets flooded by an increasing number of tourists during the season, whilst the small existing community of islanders is overshadowed. The Tourist is focused only on the most famous sights, the Blue Cave and Monk Seal Cave, usually followed by a couple of hours at one of the stunning Biševo sandy beaches, disregarding the rest of the island and its inhabitants. Ignorant of the hidden beauty of this isolated gem, the entire visit is reduced to a few hours of sunbathing, overpriced meals, and boat tours. The island turns into nothing more than a few snapshots of beautiful memories and escapism of everyday life.
In response to this, we started Biševo Summer - BILjET residences whose goal is to get away from the tourist state of mind and step into a voyager’s mindset. The Voyager creates his/her own experience and does not follow established tourist guidelines, but is instead prone to deviate off the path. The fundamental difference between The Tourist and The Voyager is the pattern of behavior at the destination itself. The Voyager travels into the unknown to create an immersive experience and leave their imprint on the island. The Voyager explores remote places and interacts with locals. Through BILjET residency program, we create a new hybrid of voyager-artist and voyager-scientist, bringing additional values which become the building blocks of the island of Biševo. The geographical isolation of the island as well as the lack of infrastructure turn this paradise into an adventure. The newly created reality has always been Biševo’s everyday life.
Through residencies, we want to create a unique ecosystem for art, culture and interdisciplinary programs in one of the most remote areas in Croatia. Through practices and interventions on this specific location, each residency is reinvented and built on with each new arrival on the island. The program encourages the intertwining of art practice and everyday island life, creating a place outside the consumerist nature of tourism. The advantage of BILjET residences is in connecting individuals of different interests whose collaborations leave a positive mark on the island and contribute to its sustainability. The innovative approach of BILjET residency program creates a fertile ground for exploring the boundaries of one's profession and its possibilities, through active collaboration with the community in an isolated environment.
Open call application
We are pleased to present an Open Call for all artists and creatives who would like to participate in first the Biševo Summer summer residency program– BILjET 2021, The Voyager. The application is open to all artists, scientists and creatives of various interests and research methods, as well professional associations and organizations.
BILjET, short for Biševo Summer is a regionally and internationally oriented program that is different from other art residencies. The unique work and living space encourage residents to collaborate - an interdisciplinary experiment on an offshore island. We insist that the works and research be in line with the cultural and ecological sustainability of the island of Biševo. Residents are encouraged to use the island’s resources responsibly and consider tourism and tourists as possible resources. We also ask residents to participate in the daily maintenance of the residential space, and in building the artistic fund of BIAR - Bisevo Island Artist Residency.
Our goal is to form an alternative community of creatives that will actively work towards achieving a sustainable coexistence between tourism and culture on the island of Biševo. This year's theme The Voyager is a continuation of the Non-profit Association Save Biševo’s primary activities - to build a place that supports intervention in the harsh environment of the island. The resident surrenders to the authenticity of the island, its isolation, simplicity and routine. Transforming from a potential tourist into a voyager, the resident has an intimate encounter with the island and its local community, leaving a permanent part of themselves on the island.
Is BILjET for you?
We believe that each resident has their own special interest in why they choose the island of Biševo as a place of conditional isolation and focused work. The uniqueness of the place, the location of the island, and isolation within the isolated, in addition to the expected and necessary creative peace also offer an unprecedented yet forgotten restlessness, a pulse of immediate nature and simple, even trivial daily rhythm of life that slowly but surely strip oneself of all personal and cultural layers. This is the atmosphere in which we would like all the residents to create and search for their own concepts in their work.
Residencies open for application:
BILjET 2021 takes place in Porat, on the island of Biševo during the summer months of July and August. This year there will be a total of 8 one-week residences in the period 2nd July – 28th August 2021. All residences start and end on Fridays - the only day in the week when it is possible to travel to and from the island without missing any of the travel connections (ferries, buses, local boats). Taking into consideration the current epidemiological situation, each residency is limited to 5 participants.
1. Island as a Studio – open studio residencies
02/07/2021 – 09/07/2021 // 16/07/2021 – 23/07/2021 // 30/07/2021 – 06/08/2021 // 13/08/2021 – 20/08/2021
Open Studio residencies are open to artists as well as all creatives who want to participate in BILjET and leave a part of themselves on the island. Residents, inspired by their surroundings, create on spot. Isolation, collaboration and participation of everyone present in this specific landscape transform the open studio into a research journey. As in all other residences, the work and research should be in line with the cultural and ecological sustainability of the island of Biševo. The Open Studio consists of 4 weeks of residences, each of which includes a maximum of 5 participants.
2. Curator Week - Challenges and revisions of the vocation
06/08/2021 – 13/08/2021
For a week, art historians, cultural workers and curators will review, analyze and (re)define what it means to be a curator today. What reforms are needed and what are the current global trends? Some of the topics on the table - curator inside and outside of institutions; curator, art dealer, gallery manager, etc. – what is the difference, is there any? Touching on these topics, the objective is to examine and (re)define concepts and methods that are sometimes unclear to the professionals in question themselves - a critical revision of the vocation based on experience. How did the curator become a (non)vocation?
3. Mapping the Island - Hidden Island Diaries
20/08/2021 – 27/08/2021
Art meets science. Artists, designers and scientists from different fields initiate the island mapping project. Mapping will include cultural heritage, significant sites on the island, places of local legends and folk tales, curiosities of the nature world, geological areas of interest, etc. The goal of this residence is to determine strategic areas of mapping in cooperation with locals. The residence becomes an in-depth exploration of the island and its hidden places. The project remains permanently available to all visitors of Biševo who actively and independently engage in exploring it.
Since this is our first year of Biševo Summer - BILjET and we are self-funded and have put in hours and hours of volunteer work, we are asking all residents to participate in the basic costs of the residency.
For specific information on suggested financial contributions please contact us at [email protected]
Please indicate when filling out the application for Biševo Summer - BILjET which residence you are applying for. Open call will be closed once all residences are filled.
Still have a question? Write to us - [email protected]
Residencies open for applying:
Open studio – 4 weekly residencies –
Mapping the Island - Hidden Island Diaries
Curator week - Challenges and revisions of the vocation
More about collaborations:
KVART - Association for Contemporary Art
23/07/2021 – 30/07/2021
During this residency, members of the KVART will independently and collectively produce works of art and intervene on the island. Through interventions, they will catch islanders and tourists by surprise. The residency can act as a continuation, intervention of already started projects and activities, or act as an independent project that will continue in the future. The KVART association nurtures the philosophy of engaged art, by indicating and striving to create conditions it considers necessary for communities’ life, and critically approaches the problems they see within the community. This time, leaving their familiar environment of urban neighborhoods, they take on the role of voyagers and for the first time intervene on an island devoid of the urban themes they normally deal with.
Split Nomad Gallery
09/07/2021 – 16/07/2021
During this residency, Split Nomads will independently and collectively produce artworks and interventions on the island. Split Nomad Gallery as the first pop-up art gallery in Croatia continues its tradition of nomad activities in alternative locations. This time, instead of the exhibition itself, the artists take on the role of voyagers. Deprived of all social and personal layers, they create illustrations, comics, street art, murals, etc on the island. Once BILjET 2021 is finished, SNG will organize multimedia events and exhibitions in several locations in Croatia presenting the works produced as part of BILjET 2021 - VOYAGER.
You got a question? Or do you want to participate in the project? Write us a message @ [email protected].
Apply for a Residency
In case of difficulties filling out the contact form and sending it, please send your CV and cover letter directly via email.