The National Sculpture Factory is delighted to announce the recipients of their Im/Plants program: Taf Hassam (DAI, 2010), Poka Yio, Fiona Woods, Rosie Lynch and Hollie Kearns

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The newly developed Im/Plants strand in the NSF's annual program is designed to act as a source of imaginative hybridization, to create as yet unknown forms of production or provocation, and enable the NSF to work with the broadest range of artistic practitioners, leading to the synthesis of new ideas and work practices within the artist-centric institution.

NSF Im/Plants project allows the practitioners to practically challenge the perceived ideologies of the monolithic or static institution, and to act instead as a generative substrate engaging directly with the receptive NSF. In making available its resources, experience and network of relations, the NSF wishes, through these insertions, to open itself to the stimulus of new ideas, alien influences and new creative productive outcomes.

The Im/plants

Taf Hassam: Burn Down After Reading [Parallel Press]

Burn Down After Reading [Parallel Press] will be a homemade publishing press and eventually a resource library for the National Sculpture Factory, exploring the contexts, ideas and inspirational literature that have helped shape independent artist initiatives from around the world. The project builds on the theoretical concept of the 'Parallel Polis', first published as Samizdat [self-published/publication] by Czech dissident Václav Benda in 1978. The text was a philosophical call to his fellow dissidents to abandon hope that protest could change the repressed social, economic and political institutions in former Czechoslovakia. He instead urged the creation of new 'parallel institutions' that would be more responsive to human needs, and which someday might supplant the existing corrupt ones.

Taf Hassam (1980, Brighton, UK) is an artist and organiser, co-founder of the independent artist run space Goleb, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 2008, he received a Bachelor in Fine Art and Honours Degree in Artistic Research and Scientific Practice from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the University of Amsterdam, and in 2010, he received a Master in Fine Art at the Dutch Art Institute, the Netherlands.

Poka Yio: Crubeens

What's the role of art during years of crisis? Are we, the creative people, expected to act or to react and then up to which extend does this resonate with our (stressed) audience? Greece has turned into a huge laboratory for testing the application and subsequent side effects and resiliance towards new socioeconomic dogmas. Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain under the derogatory, albeit cute, acronym PIIGS are the new test and battle grounds for the extrapolation and spillover of the central european economic and overall systemic failure. Crubeens is a series of workshops bringing together citizens with theorists, politicians, artists, scientists etc in order to think and possibly come up with useful ideas and projects that solve larger or smaller public issues. For example a homeless person, a single mom, an unemployed person, a philosopher, a politician, a journalist, an artist and a mathematician could work on how to imbue empathy in municipal programming in a town in Ireland. Crubeens, like the famous dish made from the modest and often discarded pig trotters can be a meaningful answer to the burning question: what can we do now? Turning to the humble and discarded for solutions might be an answer.

Poka-Yio (born 1970) is a visual artist and curator living and working in Athens Greece. He is cofounder and co-director of the Athens Biennale. His work revolves around the axis of attraction and repulsion. From painting to gastronomy and from coaching to curating, Poka-Yio uses narration as his main tool. His recent curatorial projects include: the 1st Athens Biennale, "Destroy Athens," Athens, 2007 (with XYZ) and the 3rd Athens Biennale, "Monodrome," Athens, 2011 (with Nicolas Bourriaud and XYZ.)

Rosie Lynch and Hollie Kearns

Rosie and Hollie intend to 'implant' their curatorial practice within the National Sculpture Factory for a period of critical reflection and exchange. The curators view this as a unique opportunity to develop and test modes of practice that will inform and shift artistic and public programming at both Callan Workhouse and the National Sculpture Factory. They have proposed a winter residency, a period of rest and hibernation, which echoes the agrarian calendar of winter reflection, spring renewal and summer periods of energy and activity, that frames the strong farming community of Callan, where we are based.

Independent curators Rosie Lynch and Hollie Kearns work collaboratively out of a shared office at Callan Workhouse, Co. Kilkenny. They are currently coordinating Nimble Spaces (2013-2014), a long-term process of collaboration between artists, architects and adults with an intellectual disability. Recent projects include Workhouse Assembly (2013), a twelve-day participative research workshop exploring the complex social history and future development possibilities of a semi-derelict wing of the Callan Workhouse and Landing Place (2013); a series of commissioned new works relating to public access and engagement at a series of industrial heritage sites in Dublin Bay. They are co-founders with Tara Kennedy and Jo Anne Butler of Commonage, a community based organisation, which commissions and provides a critical platform for contemporary art and architecture practice in the public realm.

Fiona Woods

"For my Im/Plant I will infiltrate the National Sculpture Factory, using observation and analysis to tease out the configuration of agents and elements involved in the dynamic, emergent processes through which it manifests itself as an institution. My analysis will result in a strategic board-game that can function as an active, playful, dialogical way of thinking and rethinking the dynamics of cultural institutions."

Fiona Woods is a visual artist whose work explores ideas, situations or states of being that are seemingly marginal, in an attempt to generate modest spaces within which things can be questioned. She uses public space, social situations and the institutional site of art as circuits for the production and distribution of work. Woods regularly operates in a co-productive capacity with others under the heading collection of minds.

The NSF, and our selection panel, were overwhelmed by the volume, the diversity and the quality of submissions for the Im/Plants program. The call for applications received huge international, as well as domestic interest, with entries arriving from as far afield as New Zealand, Canada and Iraq, as well as widely across Europe. This volume of interest proves the appetite among cultural practitioners for opportunities to undertake this type of work and the NSF looks forward to hosting and engaging with these dynamic and stimulating practices.

National Sculpture Factory, Albert Road, Cork City, Ireland.