Researchers and artists who deal with urban issues have a lot in common, yet they rarely cooperate — something which Malmö University's city researchers are keen to remedy with a new ‘Artist-in-residence’ programme.

German artist Gernot Wieland was one of 50 artists who applied to the Institute for Urban Research for the post. He is now set to spend four weeks with the department where he will meet researchers, hold lectures and attend a research walk on the theme of urban renewal through the Norra Sorgenfri area of Malmö.

“The ‘Artist in residence’ scheme seeks to break down barriers between art and science and establish a new terrain that never previously existed for encounters and discussion. This pioneering experiment will hopefully result in innovative ideas and practices that will improve the quality of urban life,” , says Guy Baeten, the director of the Institute for Urban Research (IUR) at Malmö University.

 I try not to be the John Wayne white male hetero discovering kind of guy.

Gernot Wieland, Berlin artist

Wieland's art is inspired by memories and stories; he works primarily with film and art lectures. He combines historical sources with personal collections and scientific facts to explore the human condition and the place of the individual in society.

“I’m most looking forward to the unexpected, the twists of my perception, and that my work leads me on paths that I have not yet experienced, or rather to a memory which I have not yet had. I try not to be the John Wayne white male hetero discovering kind of guy,” says Wieland.

Artist-in-residence programmes give artists the opportunity to live and work for a limited time period in a different environment. The residency programme is about increasing the exchange of knowledge, developing new ideas, creating collaborations, giving room for reflection and exploring one's own creation.

“As a young university, we have a possibility to constructively challenge boundaries between fields of knowledge, disciplines, methods and forms of making public. At the core of all this is the paradox of imagination. While society may be forgetful about its foundations, and scientific research tends to rationalise its beginnings, art stays open to the imaginary as such. Working closely with artists, the IUR seek to explore the connectivity between urbanity and its imaginative beginnings,” says Associate Professor Staffan Schmidt.

Later this semester, Carolina Hicks, an artist, designer and musician from California, will be IUR's second Artist-in-residence.

Text: Ellen Albertsdottir