In 2020, British artist Michael Safaric Branthwaite undertook an online virtual residency on the Falstad Centre’s web pages. While the pandemic stood in the way of physical encounters across national borders, Branthwaite investigated the real and conceptual distances between his studio in Britain and the Falstad memorial site in Norway. In Spring 2022, Branthwaite continues his exploration of Falstad in an on-site artist residency based in the Commander’s house.
In “Contemporary witness: Surrogations and Passages”, Branthwaite uses audio and lens-based media to explore the way we form surrogate experiences and passages to the past. Although these experiences are shared, they are also unique and personal. Outside of living memory we all must construct our own interpretations of historical events. Branthwaite’s work aims to facilitate and open up debate on these surrogate histories, creating links between the material culture of the past and contemporary conditions.
The artist residency takes place at the Falstad Centre from April 1 – April 8, 2022. During this period, it will be possible to visit the artist in his studio. Contact our Head of research, Ingeborg Hjorth, to make an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition is presented in an open studio in the Commander’s house on April 8, 2022 at 3-5pm. It will be on display from April 8 – June 5, 2022.
You can also experience the project in Social Media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) via the hashtag #contemporarywitness.
The residency and exhibition are financially supported by the Arts Council England, Staffordshire University and the Falstad Centre.
Associate Prof. Michael Safaric Branthwaite is a visual artist and educator at the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University. Since 2014 he has undertaken several artistic residencies at sites relating to the Holocaust and other traumatic historical events, with a focus on contested histories, heritage and rehumanization. For additional information, see: www.michaelbranthwaite.com.