Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten

HISK: Call for applications

Work years 2010-2011
Deadline submission: Monday June 15, 2009

Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten
Higher Institute for Fine Arts
Charles de Kerchovelaan 187a
B-9000 Gent
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HISK - Higher Institute for Fine Arts
Advanced Studies & Practice-based Research in Visual Arts

The Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) organizes postgraduate education in Flanders in the field of the audiovisual and visual arts. It provides approximately twenty-five young artists from Belgium and abroad with a studio of their own for the duration of two years along with specific, tailor-made guidance.

At the HISK, emphasis lies mainly on individual practice with an international focus. The visiting lecturers are crucial. Artists, curators, critics and theoreticians pay individual studio visits at regular intervals. There are also frequent visits to significant art events and lectures, seminars and workshops are provided. The HISK also offers technical facilities and production opportunities.

Thanks to the unique HISK concept, the participants are given every opportunity to invest in critical research of their work in order to situate it within a broader artistic, cultural and societal context.

At the end of the two-year working period, the participant receives a certificate of 'Laureate of the HISK'. The HISK is officially recognized as Higher Institute and is financed by the Flemish Community - Ministry of Education and supported by the City of Ghent.

Since 1997, 148 laureates have graduated from the HISK. The largest part of them are currently building up a successful professional career in the Belgian and international art world.

In 2009, the candidate-laureates working at the HISK come from Canada, Japan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Israel, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An international jury selected them from more than a hundred candidates.


Artists who have already obtained a Masters degree in Fine Art or an equivalent qualification are eligible to apply to the HISK. Exceptions can be made for applicants who do not have a Post Graduate degree in Fine Art but display a high level of development, motivation and artistic affinity. This is decided on the basis of an interview in which an applicant's experience, professional or otherwise, is discussed.

A diverse group of artists who are able to work together as a community are chosen each year. All young practitioners selected for the program are believed to share a common potential for growth.

The admission committee is composed of international visiting lecturers from a variety of backgrounds. They make a pre-selection from the submitted portfolios and the candidates who make it through are invited for an interview regarding their motivations and expectations. After a period of evaluation and careful consideration, the committee then makes a decision as to whether the applicant is suitable.

The conceptual and visual qualities in the works submitted by applicants are considered to be more important than style, material or technique. Participants are expected to have a strong commitment to conducting critical research within their respective fields of interest. At the same time, they should aim towards locating their practice within a broader perspective of social and cultural environments. Candidates are also expected to make a contribution to the activities of the HISK as a whole. This interaction is seen to be an important forum of exchange and development.

Basic criteria for assessment are:
- The quality of the submitted work
- Evidence of a potential to explore various aesthetic possibilities
- The degree to which the work distinguishes itself from overt influences
- The coherence of the body of work
- The social/political relevance of the work
- The quality of presentation in the submitted portfolio (both text and images)
- Motivation for choosing the HISK
- Willingness to be involved in the HISK programme and ability to set aside time for this
- Ability to speak about your work and thinking around it
- The potential to grow within the HISK programme, both on an artistic and a personal level
- Evidence of sufficient maturity to be able to work independently

Each year between 12 and 14 candidate laureates are admitted.

Applications for work years 2010-2011

Please send the following

1. Information
• A completed application form (see:
• Your personal motivation and work plan (in English, ca. 1 page)
• A detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of exhibitions, grants, scholarships, awards, commissions, etc)
• Catalogues and texts describing your artistic work (optional)
• Maximum 3 letters of recommendation (optional)
• 4 recent passport photographs (with your name on the back)
• A copy of your ID card or passport

2. Presentation / portfolio
• Power Point or PDF presentation on CD (Mac compatible), along with clear labels stating title of work, medium, date and measurements (if necessary) + bound print out of the presentation (color or black & white)
• Films and videos on DVD, if possible with menu

File to be sent to:
HISK / Higher Institute for Fine Arts
Charles de Kerchovelaan 187a
B-9000 Gent

Deadline submission: June 15, 2009

The first working year starts in January 2010 and ends in December 2010. An international jury will make their selection in July 2009. The results of the selection will be known on July 15, 2009. Applicants who have not been selected can collect their documents at the HISK's administration office on conclusion of the admission procedure. Documentation of selected candidates will be archived in the HISK's records. As careful as the HISK may be in handling the documentation submitted, we cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage.

The registration fee for 2010 and 2011 amounts to 1000 euro per year (+ a single deposit of 300 euro). Health insurance is not included in the registration fee. The registration fee (and the deposit) must be paid before the start of the working year. The HISK offers a studio, work places and pedagogical guidance. There are no scholarships or residencies available. Living costs are the participants' own responsibility. Foreigner candidate-laureates have to arrange all necessary administration themselves in order to obtain a visa for study purposes and an official residence permit.

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