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Concordia MFA student earns prestigious 2024 Jorisch Family Artist Residency 2024

March 12, 2024

Danica Olders in her studio Danica Olders in her studio. Photo by: Florence Viau

Danica Olders, an MFA student in Studio Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, has been awarded the 2024 Jorisch Family Artist Residency. This award provides support for a four-week summer residency in the Amelie Redlich Tower of the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Austria, for an outstanding graduate student in the visual arts.

Olders' art draws attention to place and space, hoping to bring a fresh perspective to enrich her practice and most recent work through this residency.

Can you share insights into your artistic practice?

Danica Olders: My artistic practice centers around exploring space, the interactive energy between people, and between people and their built environment. I design installations using movement to activate narratives and explore the dichotomy of public versus private mythologies inherent in spatial experience. I employ diverse materials like wood, metal, ceramics, textiles, painting, and text to question our experience in space, my place in the world, and the world as a place itself.

My recent exploration focuses on routines, repetitive bodily movements ingrained in human nature. People are territorial due to their dependency on routines, creating a sense of ownership and a desire to protect established routes and home centers, often stronger than the desire for new experiences. My goal thus far has been to understand, question and experience space, my place in the world and the world as a place itself.


Photo Credit: Ian Cameron

How do you envision this residency impacting your work?

DO: The Jorisch Family Artist Residency offers a unique opportunity to position my research and practice in Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage city. It provides a compelling stage for my exploration of space and unlearning spatial habits. Many of my creative projects manifest as augmented versions of real world architecture, so I see this being a really inspiring location for envisioning new installations to develop from. The Amalie Redlich Tower, part of the Museum der Moderne, straddles tradition and innovation, offering an environment rich with stories of connections and contradictions.

Q: What possibilities are you most looking forward to during the residency?

DO: I am eager to work closely with the Museum der Moderne (MDM), exploring collections and meeting staff for enriching research. Visiting the Salzburger Marionetten too, as many of my installations are activated in a theatrical way and exploring connections between installation and stage design. I’m looking forward to engaging with the exhibition manager, Lisa Überbacher, who has a background in stage design.

There is an education course at the MDM, called Kunstspaziergang (art walking trip), which aligns with my spatial research that I hope to take part of. As for me, research involves not only reading and writing, but also activities like walking and running for material development.

Having practised a portable routine in past residencies, I recognize the potential for habit change and heightened consciousness. By being in Salzburg, I will be able to confront my own routine, a theme I am currently exploring.

Photo Credit: Ian Cameron

Can you outline your plans for the residency and post-residency goals?

DO: During the residency, I intend to immerse myself in Salzburg's urban and natural landscape, navigating the city, creating new routines, and exploring the Museum's collections to develop a series of paintings, texts, and temporary activations. Having lived in Montreal for the past decade, I have spent considerable time exploring its various corners and contributing to the cultural scene through design, branding, art direction, murals, sculptures, and hidden installations in shopping malls.

My activations will interact with Salzburg with simplicity; making paintings, drawings, or texts for the people I meet, or leaving them in their place for others to find. I hope these will not only reflect my engagement with Salzburg but also invite viewers to reconsider their own relationships with space, routine, and their narratives.

Visit Danica Older’s website or find out more about the Department of Studio Arts.

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