Application for LABA 2024 fellowship program is now open!
Application dates: January 22nd- February 19th
LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Art and Culture
LABA brings together artists from all backgrounds and disciplines to study classical Jewish texts, experiment, and explore the futures of Jewish art and culture. LABA is a non-religious house of study whose goal is to function as an international incubator for creativity and to push the boundaries of what Jewish art can be, and what Jewish texts can teach. We also fold in secular literature, music and art to help us better see the timeless and radical elements of these texts.
Every year, LABA selects a group of ten fellows for a year-long study, centered around a chosen theme. Through the LABA fellowship, fellows are provided an open and creative setting for the thoughtful study of Judaism’s rich literary and intellectual tradition. These creative explorations inform their art and ideas, and are presented through live LABA events around the city, and in the LABA Journal online.
LABA Barcelona, located in “Casa Adret” (in the heart of the medieval Jewish quarter), is part of an international network of LABA hubs – The first LABA program began in New York in 2007 and has since grown to become the only large-scale and international incubator for Jewish arts in the world. Currently, there are five hubs: New York, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Berlin, and Barcelona.
LABA theme for 2024 – NIGHT
What only comes out at NIGHT.
NIGHT, in the Jewish imagination, is both a matter of time and a state of mind.
Our days begin at night, the arrival of three stars is our first sign of tomorrow. Our calendar is lunar, our months and years obsessively coordinated with the waxing and waning of the moon. Night is more than a time marker, however. It is also a paradoxical psychological state, when urges are too messy, too irrational, and too wild for the day to emerge, whether through dreams or behaviors or habits or the thoughts that only voice themselves at three in the morning. Night is obscurity, but it is also clarity. Night is freedom, but it is also sometimes cruelty. Only in darkness can some truths be revealed. The cosmos began with night, and from night the very atoms humming our bodies arrived. We can never know ourselves fully, as a person or a people, without a deep understanding of night.
This year at LABA we will explore the theme of NIGHT in the ancient Jewish canon. We will look at how and why NIGHT anchors us, liberates us, terrifies us through a study of evocative stories from the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar and more. We will study how the separation of day and night marks the beginning of the world, the way dreams inform reality, what night does to the mind and soul, and epic, history-changing nights in Jewish cultural history.
We will also consider the role of NIGHT in the life of culture-makers, and the ways in which culture-makers are the “NIGHTS” of people—truth-tellers, tricksters, beauty-makers, and deep-sea subconscious divers.
Most importantly, we’ll have a great time talking, eating, drinking, learning, and laughing in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious, and endlessly playful environment of LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.
We invite you to point your flashlight towards uncharted territories–places you might cherish, wish to destroy, or both– and propose new work inspired by what night brings up in you. All mediums accepted, and the strange and unconventional are always welcome.
About Our Fellows
We are seeking Barcelona-based artists and culture-makers from any creative field: past LABA fellows have included choreographers, performers, curators, visual artists, bakers, directors, composers, writers, film-makers, clowns, comedians and fashion designers. We do not limit our categories: we encourage everyone from puppeteers and chefs to architects and tight-rope walkers to apply.
No previous knowledge of Jewish texts is required for fellows, nor will previous knowledge of Jewish texts lessen one’s chances of becoming a fellow. What is required is a desire to study these texts in an intellectually rigorous, non-religious setting.
Time spent together is important for cohesion and successful collaboration when working with a small group like ours. If accepted as a LABA Fellow, you will be expected to be available in person for our learning sessions, studio visits, tours, meetings, and ultimately during (y)our exhibition month.
Sessions will take place on Tuesday afternoon.
This LABA season runs April to December 2024, with summer months focused on developing your project. The artwork showcase and exhibition will take place during winter.
During the season, fellows are expected to:
- Join us for ten study and engagement sessions at Casa Adret, and around Barcelona.
- Make at least one contribution to our online journal.
- Present their work-in-process at one of our LABAlive events, which will take place in Winter 2024.
- Check in periodically with the Director of LABA Barcelona about their work.
- Sessions will be held in Spanish and English.
All applicants must apply to LABA with either a work-in-process or a concrete project idea connected to the theme of NIGHT. Our goal is to be informed and inspired by the study sessions, which, we have found, happens on a much deeper level when the fellows have a specific goal in mind.
LABA Fellows receive a 1000€ study stipend, along with an additional production stipend for their LABA project. In addition to financial support, artists benefit from diverse forms of creative and administrative assistance. Throughout the fellowship year, access to rehearsal space and workspace at Casa Adret is provided.
Fellows also have the opportunity to work one-on-one and be mentored by LABA faculty.
Furthermore, LABA provides culture-makers with the opportunity to create within an artistic community, enabling them to engage in an ongoing conversation about the evolution of their work.
Lastly, fellows are invited to participate in a variety of activities hosted at Casa Adret, including festive dinners, discussions, seminars, workshops, and more.
Application Process and Additional Information
The application will be done through an online form and will consist of the following information:
- Motivational letter describing briefly your interest in the program
- Description of a work-in-process or a concrete project idea connected to the theme of NIGHT
Application closes on February 19th.
The Director of LABA Barcelona, the Global LABA Director, and a panel of artists and faculty will then review all eligible applications.
Interviews with finalists will be in person on March 4–8.
For questions regarding the application process, please contact [email protected]
To learn more about LABA, visit www.labalab.org
Take the lead in this exciting journey!