The Artist-in-Residence Program provides local and visiting artists, curators, and researchers with accomodation and studio facilities at the Tile Factory, providing a unique space for the creation, development and exchange of creative ideas and projects. The program serves most of all as a meeting place for artists: facilitating creative encounters, discussions and the exchange of experiences, and then opening these up to the public, acting as a conduit to the outside world.

In a sense, the residency acts as an incubator for the creation and exchange of ideas, experiences and representations. In the course of residency, our public - both within the region and further afield - are encouraged to engage with activities planned to help create awareness of one's own cultural difference and uniqueness. Each artist is given the opportunity to propose and focus on a particular project while in residence, which may be influenced or inspired by the reality of daily life in the city, the country and the region. Opportunities to work with local artists and the local community during the residencies will be plentiful and strongly encouraged.  

Applications are currently closed.

Olaf Nicolai

Mourning and Melancholia is realised in the context of the 3rd Riwaq Biennial (2009) in co-production with the Al-Ma’mal Foundation and the “Jerusalem Show 2009”. It is supported by the Goethe-Institut Ramallah and was produced in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

At the centre of the project stands Sigmund Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia (1915), a text about two fundamental psychological mechanisms in dealing with object loss. The text is translated into Arabic for the first time and is made available and free to take as a self-made booklet at different places in Ramallah and its neighbourhoods. In addition, an audio version in the local dialect will be produced which is to be broadcast through a radio station locally. The work aims at the question of the possibility of mutual points of reference which can be unclosed by spaces beyond antagonistic positions.


Olaf Nicolai studied at the School of Applied Arts, Schneeberg, and German Literature and Philology at the Universities of Leipzig, Budapest and Vienna. In 1992, he completed his PhD on The Vienna Group. He has been awarded several grants, including the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes at the Studies Centre for Art and Science in Venice, 1993; Villa Massimo, Rome, 1996; the P.S.1 Museum Grant, New York, 1998; the IASPIS Grant, Stockholm, 2000, the Art Award Wolfsburg, 2002 and the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles, 2008. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, such as documenta X, 1997; Venice Biennale, 2001 and 2005; Sydney Biennial, 2002; Gwangju Biennial, 2002; Sharjah Biennial, 2005; Athens Biennial, 2007, and his work is shown in institutions worldwide (Migros Museum, Zurich; Museo Serralves, Porto; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Fondation Cartier, Paris; Lenbachhaus, Munich). He lives and works in Berlin.