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Experiments in Higher Arts Education and Research

  • 17.30u INTRODUCTION by Johan Pas (dean, art historian, researcher)
  • 17.40u PROPOSALS FOR “DE PARKING” by Students In Situ Department
  • 17.50u BAUHAUS: paradoxes exposed by Inge Henneman (art historian, researcher)
  • 18.30u BREAK
  • 18.40u EXPANDING ACADEMY by Nico Dockx (artist, researcher) and Judith Wielander (curator, researcher)

The central question during this ARTICULATE RESEARCH WEEK is: “Can artistic research contribute to imagining new perspectives, now that our way of life is shaken up?”. These new perspectives can highlight a multitude of themes, both socially as within the arts or in the field of art education and present - not coincidentally - the topics that the research project 'Expanding Academy’ endeavours to dealt with in practice, with the aim of arriving at new forms. During this evening, we will make a leap from the present to the past and future, and enter into a dialogue about old and new models, about urgent and long-term needs for our art education. The agenda for the discussion is to look at the future of our Antwerp academy - not utopian, but starting from the resources we have at our disposal, and in a concrete way. The evening, focussing on dialogue, starts in the 'now' with an introduction by Johan Pas and the project PARKING by In Situ and will continue with an exploration of the BAUHAUS model to conclude with the future projection of ‘Expanding Academy’, a research project by Nico Dockx and Judith Wielander that aims to practice education as research, as artistic practice, as a critical position in the world.

Crisis: to crack or to grow?
101 years ago, Walter Gropius developed with Bauhaus an innovative form of art education. Driven by the zeitgeist and the conviction that the arts had a social role to play in the reconstruction after the First World War, various art schools, in Germany but also in Russia and the Netherlands for example, were reformed or established with objectives and educational innovations similar to those of Bauhaus. These innovations were the result of a critique towards the existing art academies, for having isolated themselves from society. Today, it is not a world war that is affecting us, but the global viral crisis is confronting us with a similar momentum: the need to question the old and create the new. Once again, in these times of crisis, the need for culture is being questioned - though at the same time, this need is very manifest! - and art education is being questioned critically.

The evening will be introduced by Johan Pas, head of the Academy, who will explain the links and parallels that can be drawn between the situation that led to the development of the Bauhaus model and the propositions that emerged from it, and will situate the context in which contemporary art education currently finds itself. The In Situ department investigated that this is not only a thought exercise at the policy level but also translates into how we deal with the space - literally and figuratively - of the Academy today. They addressed the currently underused but of potential bursting space of the academy's "parking ". What proposals do they formulate? Students and lecturers briefly explain the propositions that are displayed on the parking lot and in the corridors of the academy.

BAUHAUS: paradoxes exposed
In her lecture, art historian Inge Henneman will focus on how the Bauhaus model is a clash of contradictory artistic and pedagogical views. The school hosted representatives of Expressionism, Constructivism, Functionalism, De Stijl and there are even traces of Dada and Surrealism. Teachers with a strong focus on subjective, intuitive and even mystical expression taught alongside teachers who strived for a more rational, objective and scientific approach to art education. Traditional and artisan techniques for painting, weaving and ceramics were used alongside experimental photography and industrial production methods. The contrast between the two pedagogical and artistic models (expressionism versus functionalism) will be magnified in this lecture, as a trigger to open the debate on the present and the local.

Expanding the Academy?
After a short break, we will take a very concrete look at how new insights about art education are developing in the 21st century. What can an art academy really mean in the 21st century? How can it maintain or reclaim its social relevance? And how does that translate into educational programmes? Under the name of "Expanding Academy ", Nico Dockx and Judith Wielander will set out the beacons for a fundamentally new vision on art education. What could this mean and how could it take shape? In a conversation between Johan Pas, Nico Dockx and Judith Wielander, the principles of such an alternative artistic education and research programme are put forward, questioned and discussed.

During this evening discussion, we want to talk collectively about the future of our Antwerp academy, not in a utopian way, but building from the resources at our disposal, and in a concrete way. All master's students are expected to attend. Ideally, their input and that of other students, lecturers, researchers and other staff members and those involved will be the guiding thread of the conversation.


>> This evening discussion is part of the program of ARTICULATE | BAUHAUS 1 0 1