Thanks to the freedom of thought, escape from daily routines, and eclectic mix of locals, Maříž has a certain regenerative quality for those who spend time there. There are countless other qualities of this quaint little village that keeps us coming back - year after year, generation after generation - however, one cannot deny the degradation of the environment that rightfully taints our relationship with Maříž.
Secondarily, we cannot simply go in hard and fast, directly undoing what has already been done as historical examples of this approach tends to create more problems than it solves. However paralysing the situation may seem, we should not view it as such. Instead, we would like to see this as an invitation to reacquaint ourselves with the intricate needs of the environment by entering into conversation with it.
So, just as the village allows us to work through our own weak points, helping to regenerate our spirit, we would like to return the favour by focussing our attention on the environment of Maříž itself. After many discussions, Leštnice decided that approaching this multilayered issue requires a nuanced response across a diverse range of disciplines, perspectives, and backgrounds. This was the core idea behind inviting a group of individuals from a variety of professional fields to participate in Leštnice’s ‘Residency in Maříž’ 2022.
Through this interdisciplinary research project, we aim to establish a lasting dialogue between the environment of Maříž, and the many lives that have been fueled by spending time there. We are thrilled to introduce you to the residents and can’t wait to share ideas, perspectives and time together in Maříž.
The residency ended in a public event at Spolkový dům in Slavonice, where all residents presented their projects in different ways as part of a guided tour for our guests in Czech and English.
Spanning from a video work on `Daily care in Mariz` by Veronika Pfaffinger, to a manual on building habitat structures in one`s own garden by Tobias Winkels, outcomes of soil analyses by Giulia Morlando, a presentation on sociological research conducted by Dennis Nientimp, a mind map visualizing different views on Mariz based on interviews with inhabitants by Hugo Chmelař, a visualization and a booklet on the waste management problems by Hannah Heiermann, a buffet of different elderberry specialities by Clara Harmsen, a textual `Ode to wind` by Anna Hokešová, a soil exchange to participate in by Alice Jeannel and pottered bowls with different design sketches by Nicolas Prokop.
The event ended with an improvised concert coordinated by Marius Houschyar, including other residents and a spontaneously volunteering choir.
Hugo is currently a student of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Charles University, Prague (FFUK - Faculty of Arts).
Drawing occupies much of his free time and he is an active member of the art group ‘asociace prostoru’ which aims to transfer the way of perceiving art onto environmental experience by exhibiting public spaces through minimal intervention in Prague.
During the residency period, he would like to focus on the transformations of the social space of Maříž through an oral history method which will mainly consist of interviews with locals.
Clara is a Forager, Fermentation queen, Connector, and Storyteller. During her residency, she is curious to explore the local ecosystem of Maříž by letting herself be guided by the edible and medicinal plants she encounters - questioning what stories these plants bring to the community and the environment. A big part of how Clara interacts with plants is through food, so we are excited to see what she can bring to the table.
Hannah is an architect currently completing her Master's degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She often finds fascination in specific places or situations and upon which she creates works ranging from architectural structures, installations and small interactions. Hannah wishes to enter the residency period with an open mind, but has expressed an interest in exploring the lack of local sewerage in the village and alternative solutions to the waste disposal problem of Maříž.
Anna is a musician and sound designer, playing in the group ‘Metastavy’ and occasionally supporting live concerts of Arleta as a DJ. She also studies Sound Design at FAMU (Film Academy, Prague) and conducts her own music workshops at the community centre at Fuchs2. Whilst in Maříž, Anna would like to take the opportunity to explore the possibilities of sound storytelling.
Dennis has a background in Social Psychology, currently studying Behavioral Science, while working for the Institute for Environmental Psychology in Vienna. He will soon follow a PhD in Sociology on the topic of sociometric embeddedness of local energy communities. He strives to take an interdisciplinary approach to investigation with a particular focus on the causes of human behaviour, thinking and emotions.
In Maříž, Dennis will apply qualitative research methods to dive into the experiences of individuals at the residency and their environmental attitudes towards the changing landscape. Part of his research will look at the potential of the residency to become a social network intervention which could foster social cohesion by bringing people together.
Veronika works with human-nature relationships, considering herself a sculptress in the broadest sense. During the residency in Maříž, she will explore the existing places and landscapes there and she hopes to react to them in the form of temporary interventions. She is particularly interested in exploring the natural clay deposits and in discussing/exchanging ideas with the other residents.
Tobias Winkels is fond of trees and refuges of wilderness. As an arborist and treeclimber, he currently focuses on the possibility of habitat structures in an anthropogenic environment. Tobias will be building upon this by exploring how human intervention can assist in the development and recovery of local ecosystems.
Františka Malasková, Gabriela Sojková, Isabell Alexandra Meldner, Jack Laing Aiken, Jan Vagaday, Julian Boháč, Lukas Maar, Nicolas Prokop, Giulia Morlando, Philip Chemayel
This project is supported by