Kaunas Artists’ House (KAH, Lithuania) together with Kulturni Centar LAB (Novi Sad, Serbia) are starting to carry out the Reciprocal Residency Programme DeMo (abbreviation of Decoding Modernity). The programme aims to explore the connections between different modernities and to unravel modernity as a phenomenon in the broader sense of time and space and across cultural, scientific, societal and industrial developments.

The call for the creation of a vast infrastructure of multi-unit residential buildings, using new construction technologies and standartisation and adhering to principles of sanitation and basic existential needs (Existenzminimum, as it was termed in German), became a cliched catchphrase in the attempt to define the goals of modernist architecture.

Vaidas Petrulis in “Architecture of Optimism” (ed. by Marija Drėmaitė, 2018)

In order to expand the notion of modernity, Reciprocal Residency Programme DeMo will be dedicated to the analysis of the modern architectural term EXISTENZMINIMUM and the intensity of its meaning in these fluctuating times. At the same time the theme of the open call is conceptually determined by the current instabilities and pandemic crisis which also define the limits of our existence as well as the restrictions of Western modernity. Besides the very wide meaning of the term EXISTENZMINIMUM is an architectural definition used to maintain the human needs to have comfortable and accessible housing after WWI. The term was coined by German post-war architects of the New Objectivity

who were eager to build as much cost-effective housing as possible, partly to address Germany’s postwar housing crisis, and partly to fulfill the promise of Weimar Constitution. What would be our minimum existence demands for living conditions today? How did it change during quarantine? How do we perceive the post-war architectural principles now?
The artists from Serbia and Lithuania are encouraged to apply with project proposals that would reflect on the historical, urban and social developments in terms of living conditions in between the needs and demands while researching, reflecting on the key technical term of EXISTENZMINIMUM, the space for survival. The artists are expected to develop an interdisciplinary research based project and during the physical residency time to realise it using modernist spaces of Kaunas or Novi Sad.

In order to provide a broader perspective on modernity or modernities DeMo, a three-year programme (2020-2022) of Kaunas Artists’ House, together with the Derry ~ Londonderry Center for Contemporary Art, the thankyouforcoming residency program in Nice, the Culture Center LAB in Novi Sad, and other partners is inviting artists, curators, cultural field researchers, and multidisciplinary collectives to explore the possible interfaces, overlaps and divergences between the different modernities, their forms and expressions.
More information about the partners and the residents can be found: DEMO


The Residency Programme will be divided in two stages:

  1. Introductory part: two months of online research and project development with the guidance of local experts (7th of November – 31st of December), 2020;
  2. Three weeks of physical residency time in Kaunas (for artists from Serbia), in Novi Sad (for artists from Lithuania), 2021(the time will depend on the state of the pandemia);

All interested artists are invited to submit an application by 15th of October 2020, meeting the following criteria:

  • to be professional in architecture, public art or visual arts;
  • to have knowledge of critical urban theories would be an advantage;
  • to have good English language skills.

Selected artists, 2 from Lithuania and 2 from Serbia, will receive:

  • artist fee of 800 Euros, 2020;
  • project guidance and personal online consultations with the local experts for residents’ project development, November – December, 2020;
  • accommodation and daily allowance for the period of 3 residency weeks in Kaunas and in Novi Sad;
  • Travel* to/from Serbia to/from Kaunas and materials support for the art production in 2021;
  • access to Kaunas city/Kaunas district (LT) and Novi Sad/Serbia (RS) networks and resources.

*if you are not based in Serbia/Lithuania, please note our travel budget is calculated for travel from/to Serbia/Lithuania.
KAH (Kaunas) and KC LAB (Novi Sad) render itself as disability-friendly institutions however the buildings of KAH and KC LAB currently are inaccessible for persons with wheelchairs.

The application should include:

  • portfolio of 3-5 selected projects collected in one PDF file with size no larger than 10 MB;
  • CV with main projects: participation in group and individual exhibitions, residential programmes, etc.;
  • A project proposal (500-1000 words) for the Residency Programme DeMo: EXISTENZMINIMUM;
  • To apply please upload the above-mentioned documents to the google form. If you have concerns or questions please contact agne@kmn.lt.

DEADLINE: 15th of October

Decisions of 2 selected Lithuanian artists and 2 selected Serbian artists will be made on the 20th of October.
The selection will be made by the coordinators of the partner organizations.

Reciprocal Residency “DeMo” is a part of “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” programme.


Partners:  Kulturni Centar LAB, Novi Sad 2021

Svetainė atnaujinama | Site under construction
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