Artists considering the many places to apply for residencies across Europe may soon have another to add to their list. Last month, Jamie Sneider, a New York–based artist, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 toward what she’s calling Progetto, a residency program and exhibition space that, if realized, would be located in a farmhouse in Italy’s Puglia region.
In the the Kickstarter campaign, Sneider explains that the funds raised would go toward expansion and maintenance for the building. But why Puglia? “Strangely, this year, I’ve seen so many people in the art world going to Puglia,” Sneider told ARTnews. She explained that she had first traveled to the region to study tarantism, a manifestation of grief that was believed to be caused by a spider bite and was often associated with women at one point in Italy’s history. She was fascinated by what she called the region’s “Southern mentality,” and has since returned there many times. That, plus a lot of reading Antonio Gramsci’s books and seeing Pier Paolo Pasolini’s movies spurred on a fascination with the area.
Seeing all the acres upon acres of olive trees and nut trees in Puglia, “I thought, You know, I always wanted to do an experimental residency space that’s a little anti-capitalist,” Sneider said. “I wanted to not necessarily be bound by a gallery, and to have artists do experimental work.”
With the help of a local collector who is acting as her lawyer, Sneider is hoping to convert the farmhouse into a site for housing artists and curators and exhibiting their work. “It’s so wild and vast,” she said of the land around it. “Everything is olive trees, almost desert-like, and one can think here, as an artist. How do you make contemporary work that’s tied to nature?”