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 non-activities) through international open calls. Selected residents are represented on this site by a dedicated page where they post periodic reports of their “non-art” endeavours during their residency. The visitors of their page can leave comments or share their reports. A modest stipend will be awarded to successful applicants to assist in their on-hiatus endeavours. At the conclusion of their residency, residents are expected to submit a final report on how they benefited from or were otherwise influenced by this opportunity. RFAOH plans to publish a full-colour “annual report” to archive paticipants’ on-hiatus endeavours each year.

Residency For Artists On Hiatus (RFAOH) seeks a host organization who may promote the residency through their own website and/or assist in funding the programme. The amount of the stipend paid to the residents as well as the format of the final publication will be contingent on this funding. Should you be interested in supporting RFAOH, please contact us or go to the support page to see how you can help.


Brief Synopsis

The onset of globalism has given rise to the exotic notion of the artist-celebrity as a globetrotting, biennale-showing, party-attending cultural worker. At the same time, a majority of artists continue to maintain modest careers while working other jobs or foregoing any otherwise comfortable, if less “glamorous” lifestyles. Moreover, our everyday encounters with media and technology in recent years have created a culture where we no longer necessarily equate creativity with lengthy and strenuous activity or with the specific material dexterity of an individual. We are much more open to the idea of the artist as inter-textual organiser of disparate materials and signifying processes — perhaps a 21st century sequel to the artistic explorations by numerous 20th century artists into the possibility that anything could be art and anyone could be an artist. The project also grew out of a question of what determines one’s artistic identity, when do artists cease to be recognized as artists, or does having a professional career at any time in one’s life grant life-long artist status. We are reminded of Marcel Duchamp who gave up art for chess, yet whose artist identity persists without question.

Regardless of the diverse understanding of “artistic” engagement in our time, many artists endure varying levels of anxiety and pressure of meeting the demand to be productive. They seek the tacit approval or at least acknowledgement of their peers and an artworld economy, deemed necessary to maintain their artist status. Residency For Artists On Hiatus (RFAOH) will allow artists freedom from the obligations of being an artist. Its outcome will be vastly influenced, if not determined by the participants. (Download a full description as pdf)

Co-directors: Shinobu Akimoto / Matthew Evans


Residency For Artists On Hiatus would like to express our deep gratitude to Tehching Hsieh for accepting his continued tenure on RFAOH’s advisory board for our third year!


Residency For Artists On Hiatus thanks the organizations and individuals who have helped us in various ways over the last three years. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in 2016, making our third term of operation and upcoming publication possible.