Quarantine Events unveil a new (and experimental) artist residency: INTERZONE

It started off as a leap into the unknown. Through Quarantine Events, six mentors guided a hundred artists on a private island for seven days. Led by the vision of Carles Gomila, the aim was to create a space where artists could unlearn traditional art practices to truly discover their own inner sources of creativity. Importantly, the whole thing was one big experiment. It aimed to infuse elements of chaos and ritual, perfectly intertwined to create a new kind of harmony which allowed the shackles of tradition to be thrust to one side.

This new kind of art residency would see its artists leave as new creators, having overcome a myriad of inner blocks and fears to pave the way for a new dawn in creativity.

And importantly, it worked.

The art residency was Quarantine Event’s ‘Muse Hacking program’ on Lazaretto Island, a stunning private island in the heart of the Mediterranean. The event, which took place in April 2023, proved itself so popular that it was soon followed by their sequel artist residency, ‘Fire Walk With Me’.

The two events clearly transformed artists’ perceptions and behaviours; artists left deeply affected and positively changed by the week’s events.

Lazaretto Island

With an open mind and heart, the Quarantine Events team have continued to learn and evolve the experiences in order to cultivate their next 1-week event, ‘INTERZONE’. “Every experiment thus far has taught us something new, leading us to continuously tweak the program.” Shares Carles Gomila. “Therefore, this fall 2024, we plan to intensify what has worked and rethink what can be improved.”

Valeria Andreis drawing Fede (model). Photo © Laura Tomàs.
Fire Walk With Me artists — Vincent Desiderio, Kirsten Anderson, Lita Cabellut, Guillermo Lorca, Martin Wittfooth, Miles Johnston and Ryan Heshka — © Laura Tomàs.

“At the “Fire Walk With Me” event, it was confirmed that artists are not looking for classrooms, but for a sort of rebirth. They want to renew and expand their creative vision.

And that is the essence of the program: to be a place for transition where artists seek to revive and deepen themselves.”

Carles Gomila, Founder

Introducing ‘INTERZONE’: October 14 to 20, 2024

From the very start, Quarantine Events’ role has been to bridge two crucial stages of an artist’s life: education and the professional world. ‘INTERZONE’ encompasses this, meticulously designed to be a key space where one can reinvent themself and venture into the unknown with their art. The Quarantine team are hugely excited for October’s event:

“This concept is at the heart of what we do. Interzone came into being because we recognized that Quarantine is a bridge between learning and professional practice. We drew inspiration from William Burroughs’ notion of “Interzone” to capture the idea of being between two worlds: that limbo where the art student transitions into an artist. That transition is the interzone.”

The themes of chaos and rituals remain their fundamental tools, but their interpretation of these elements and their roles continue to evolve. At each event, these concepts are refined to enrich the participants’ experience.

Rather than fearing what chaos represents, the Quarantine Events team have learned to utilize it as a creative resource. It is a reminder that the “rules” of art are merely suggestions – that any method can be valid, opening the doors to expressive freedom. This concept is at the heart of their Art Lab experience. “Chaos serves as a compass towards the unexplored, a call to break away from the established norms in art education, while rituals are the emotional backbone of our journey. They provide a space for introspection, an emotional connection between the creator and their work.”

For ‘INTERZONE’, each challenge devised has been designed as a rite of passage. Carles nods: “[each challenge] is a threshold that, once crossed, leaves indelible marks of maturity and understanding on the creative process, technique, and visual storytelling.”


So, what exactly is wrong with traditional art practices anyway?

“Tradition”: (n) Peer pressure instilled by the no-longer living.

Quarantine Events Handbook

In short, Quarantine Events believe that doing things for the sake of “tradition” can form limitations around further creative evolution. The steppingstone of traditionally taught practices can become a safety blanket, and then even a prison, to progression.

The upcoming ‘INTERZONE’ residency aims to transform your decision-making process while unlearning the ideas that limit you as an artist. Mentors will break all formal mindsets acquired thus far, and teach you how to accept crisis and questioning as necessary ingredients for true learning.

From the Quarantine Events Handbook

‘INTERZONE’ will be intense, but beautiful: a time for transformation.

Hard work is expected (and necessary), but you can also expect to enjoy a host of very good vibes. While the full-on, 12-hour day timetables includes Art Labs, talks, private mentoring, and masterclasses, you will also have time to process and get to know your fellow artists, as well as reconnecting with your inner self.

Set within the beautiful cocoon of Lazaretto Island and isolated from everyday noises and stresses, you will be given the tools and support to help yourself transform. Just like the caterpillar breaks itself down to re-emerge as a butterfly, so too can you reform your creative mind.

Quarantine Events art residency overview

As part of the ongoing evolution of the residency experience, ‘INTERZONE’ moves the experiment forward once again. Six legendary artists: Gary Baseman, Phil Hale, Eloy Morales, Edward Povey, Yuko Shimizu and Henrik Uldalen, plus gallerists Ken Harman Hashimoto and Jennifer Rizzo, will help run the ‘INTERZONE’ art experiment as its venerable mentors.


Interestingly, mentorships will remain as they have been. “We’ve observed that working closely with mentors, one-on-one and face-to-face is far more effective than group workshops, where their transformative potential grows diluted.” Explains Carles. “These direct and personal moments make a significant difference, and we will continue with the highly counterintuitive decision to remove guest artists from the labs. Hence one of our borrowed mottos: “Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!”.

Excitingly however, Quarantine Events’ Art Lab will see significant changes from previous iterations. New concepts will be introduced, and challenges set will be even tougher while being technically less restrictive. As Carles explains: “We aim for each challenge not just to be another step in the participants’ artistic development, but also a leap forward in how they view their own art, art in general, and themselves.”

To summarise, you can expect:

From the Quarantine Events Handbook
Inés Recher (model). Photo © Laura Tomàs.

The Rules:

Rule #1: Phones are prohibited – what happens on the island stays on the island.

Rule #2: Admission is curated – with the high level of personal discipline needed, Quarantine Events want to ensure nobody signs up by mistake. This is why they have created an individualized participant selection process to ensure the most committed people take part.

Rule #3: The program is a secret – Quarantine is an adventure, and the challenges will remain secret to help you take full advantage of their benefits. Expect the unexpected.

The requirements:

This artist residency requires a high level of personal commitment and won’t be for everyone. But if you are prepared to question your pre-set beliefs and academic principles, and put in the long hours, Quarantine Events’ Interzone may be the perfect experience to take you to the next level.

From the Quarantine Events Handbook

Still unsure about applying?

With the unconventional design behind Quarantine Events’ artist residencies, wrapped in a haze of mystery as to the specifics of the program, it is understandable if you are somewhat hesitant to apply. But if intrigue is keeping you reading, or you long for an experience to shake up your creative universe, Carles and his team encourage you to take a leap into the unknown.

By focusing on emotional, not academic structure, Quarantine Events’ residencies encourage true un-learning of negative practices and creating the room for truly personal creative growth. This powerful transformation can open up residents to the vulnerability that comes with letting go of who they were to become something new. But this isn’t something to fear: the team are here to support residents through this process.

Here, vulnerability isn’t seen as a weakness but as a tool for artistic empowerment.

“To help navigate this transformative journey, we provide personalized guidance and cultivate a strong sense of community. The core of our program is this continuous support and the creation of a united community. Participants find in their peers a support system, forming a sort of extended family that naturally emerges under the powerful influence of the Quarantine Island.”

The Art Lab. Photo © Laura Tomàs.

We’re amazed to observe that as we increase the intensity and challenges of the program, the group becomes more cohesive and each individual stronger. It’s clear: the more demanding the program, the less we need to intervene, as the group naturally supports itself.

The secret to getting students to stop acting like students is to avoid treating them like students, but instead as true artists.

The program is overseen by psychologists, and they additionally have coaches and an art therapy specialist to provide comprehensive support. The focus is always on human and empathetic treatment. “This is why we carefully select our participants,” Carles explains, “ensuring they are here for the right reasons and not just out of admiration for the guest artists.”

Excited? We hope so! It is highly recommended, however, that you read the full Quarantine Handbook to learn fully about Interzone before applying.

Application deadline: 30 May 2024. For more information and to apply, click here.

Ellen Sheidlin and Fabio Bisutti — © Laura Tomàs

Quarantine Social Media Accounts + additional blogs

Website | Instagram | Telegram  | Fire Walk With Me article | Deep Dive into Quarantine Events

About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk enjoys a life surrounded by art, nature, and curious trinkets. As Deputy Editor, she's worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief for over a decade, supporting with the design and growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the maintenance of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Natalia also oversees sponsor partnerships for the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and distribution of the magazine, so drop her an email if you know someone who would like to sponsor or stock! She also writes for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect.


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