Open call: ONE BOOK Residency by ONE Project


The aim of the open call is to create a group of people with diverse theoretical or/and artistic backgrounds. The online residency will take 3 days and will end with a discussion. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we ask you to spend the residency period at your own homes, but we will offer you some guidance and tips on how to best use your time. You are not required, but are welcome, to create an artwork based on the reading. The title of the book will be revealed during the first day of the residency (we will pick a text available online). If you have read the text before, in order to refresh your memory, you agree to read it again. The residency and discussion will be conducted in English. We encourage everybody to try and overcome the possible language barrier and join in.  


Application deadline: the 10th of May 2020

Online residency: 16-18th of May 2020

Language: English

Application fee: free

More about the event – here

Facebook event

Contact >>

 ONE Project Residency, invited artist: Saskia Rodriguez, London 2020, fot. Marta González Esteban

What is ONE Project?

It all began 3 years ago (2017) when Magdalena Żołędź was invited to Marta Grabowska’s birthday party, where she stayed till the next morning. At a typical Polish breakfast – that is in regard to hospitality, rather than the menu – they started talking about the so-called ‘art world’ in London. They quickly came to similar conclusions – there is simply too much of it all, too much choice. If you are one of the people who like to get the most out of life, when living in London the number of options can easily overwhelm you. The girls jokingly wondered what it would be like if only one artwork was shown in a gallery such as TATE Modern. This conversation turned into the first postulates of the manifesto, that you can find on their website.

ONE Project. Magdalena Żołędź i Marta Grabowska, fot. Zula Rabikowska, London 2020
ONE Project. Magdalena Żołędź i Marta Grabowska, fot. Zula Rabikowska, London 2020

We decided to create ONE Project and organise exhibitions presenting one work of art. Our activities present an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous visual excess and promote the idea of the Slow Art movement. This means that we aim to enable the recipients and creators to initiate a stronger and more direct relationship with the artwork. We curate openings during which, artists and guests actively participate in the event, through conversation and create an exchange of ideas. To date, we have organised and took part in six individual and three group exhibitions, as well as two residencies.  

 280a, Vacant Dream State, part of ONE Project Messe 2020, Secret Location (North London) 2020.

We believe in the ideas of a gallery as an experience rather than a physical, white cube space. Our goal is to direct beholders’ attention to one artwork, and allow for contemplation and entering a more meaningful experience. We understand the indifference towards images that is a result of a constant blitz of content, we see each day. And we think it is as difficult to remain indifferent when presented with just one. 

Magdalena Żołędź & Tomasz Litra, You Are Only an Image to Me, San Mei Gallery, London 2018.

At the end of last year (2019) Magdalena Żołędź started a residency programme called ONE BOOK Residency, contemplating one literary artwork per edition. The main goal of the residency programme is to create a calm, offline space for artists who don’t have a studio space in London, to allow them to read one philosophical book. The idea of the project is related to reflection on the overwhelming times in which we live. Every day we struggle with an excess of information and images while being connected to the Internet almost all the time. The residency enables achieving a state of increased concentration and detox from the virtual world.

 Izabela Jastrzębska, Scarlet House, 971620 Gallery, Luton 2018.

Participating artists are not required to produce any artwork (unless they want to). We believe simulating artists’ creativity by giving them the possibility of spending time with one book in isolated space, especially nowadays when time is so precious, is enough. The first artist we invited was Tasneem Lohani, who decided to read “Nausea” by Jean-Paul Sartre. 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and social-distancing regulations, we have decided to move the second edition of ONE BOOK Residency programme partly online and to shift its focus from the individual experience to the communal practice. We believe that creating the opportunity to concentrate will be helpful in forging a deeper relationship with the selected text, making the life of participants more stimulating during the lockdown period, as well as diverting their attention from disquieting news.