‘The benefit of having time and space to focus on an art project cannot be underestimated, and for that time and space to be in such a culturally rich city as Paris, takes it beyond valuable.’ – Linda Dement
While in residence at the Cité, Linda Dement, a Sydney based artist who has worked in arts computing since the late 1980s, was researching and developing work dealing with technology and the corporeal. During her residency she not only had a benefit of private space and open time to focus on and develop her project, but also took the advantage of being in one of the most culturally most exciting cities. She visited galleries and museums, saw a vast variety of contemporary experimental work (as well as a significant historical works), and engaged in the thriving culture of intelligent passionate articulate discourse around the arts. ‘The time to experience so much and engage with so much, was one of the most galvanising experiences possible,’ she says.
While in Paris, she also spent much time with Paris resident artist Shu Lea Cheang and with cinematographer and multi-media Swiss artist, Elise Passavant who has been documenting Shu Lea’s projects. ‘Through discussions, art critique, expeditions to galleries and events and informal development I found my project taking trajectories it would not have otherwise. Influences and provocations from Shu Lea, Elise, other artists at the Cité and from the broader various arts events in Paris inspired and challenged on every level. This wonderful range of input, along side significant undisturbed blocks of solitary time in the studio researching and experimenting, contributed to an incredibly fast moving creative development period for me.’
The interaction with Shu Lea, resulted in a tangible creative collaboration and the following year Linda’s work was one of the pieces in Shu Lea’s large scale operatic multi-artist networked performance installation event ‘Moving Forest’ created for the Transmediale Festival in Berlin.
All in all, the experiences at the Cité shifted and energised Linda’s practice. ‘I began to work more often collaboratively, have more confidence and willingness to follow enthusiasms and ideas and have a huge appreciation of the importance of making time and space to focus wholly on the project underway.’