First Edition of the Artist Residency Programme in Sztynort as part of STN:ORT 2022 

Zaungast is a German word that combines the word Zaun, meaning fence, and the word Gast, meaning guest. It describes an individual who is attending an event through the fence, without formally being entitled to enter the location of the event – for instance a football game or a concert. You could translate it as a an excluded fan, fenced off community member, as a sneaky or even illegal visitor – depending on the perspective and the judgement of the concerned person.

Patronage by Andrzej Wieteszka

Our patron to this year‘s art residency programme is Andrzej Wieteszka, Warsaw-based illustrator, poster artist, mural artist, graphic designer and art director. Andrzej Wieteszka’s work is never short of a political message. He uses his illustrations to fight against discrimination and racism. The lines of his drawings call for equal rights and make the public think twice. One of his works inspired us specifically to invite Andrzej as a patron of Zaungast. He is the creator of a long-running poster-campaign around the notion of hospitality, that first took place in Białystok in 2010 to counter a right-wing discourse in the city. In December 2021, the campaign was re-created for Warsaw, to draw attention to the dramatic situation at the Polish-Belarussian border, where individuals on the move were refused humanitarian care and left to die. By using two colours within the word, he plays with the two meanings that reside within the Polish notion of Hospitality, gościnnośc: these two notions are ”gość” and “inność”, “guest” and “otherness”. His posters provoke the viewer to consider what it takes for them to accept a stranger as a guest. Wieteszka’s poster challenge racism and border politics and call for recalling universal hospitality as a value of Polish society.

This year’s STN:ORT Art Residency encourages artists to turn on their creative thinking around the notion of the Zaungast. The material starting point for the project are the many fences that currently surround the historical buildings in Sztynort, due to their ongoing renovation. The immaterial point of departure is the festival theme of this year, hospitality. We hope that thinking about hospitality via the notion of Zaungast allows us to reflect on some of the many shades of hospitality, maybe hidden or controversial ones, too.

We have invited artists and social animators to create participatory workshop formats that creatively explore the materiality and the symbolism of fences and their relationships to hospitality and hospitality encounters.

How do visible and invisible boundaries affect the relationships between people, turning them into different kinds of hosts or guests? What are the possibilities for fences to become part of a nourishing, caring, inclusive and hospitable architecture? How important is materiality for this? What about permeability – consider which kinds of human and non-human experiences are able to pass through different types of fences?

Zaungast Artists 2022