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Masterclass: The world looks indeed quite different

The world looks indeed quite different
Masterclass by Els Dietvorst

“Ladies and Gentlemen. The world looks indeed quite different.” In 1974 Joseph Beuys wrote this sentence in white chalk on one of the one hundred blackboards in his installation ‘Directive forces (of a new society). Today again (or still?) our society is in a deep crisis, facing unexpected, new, exciting challenges. Everything calls for change. Creativity is a basic characteristic of our being and can create change. Where do we find models to make our art in this new future? What do we create in order to make connections, to make a difference? Following Beuys we will find it in the social realm where we reconnect with primal social gestures and collective desires, needs and values.

For this masterclass and the collaboration we will engage in together, I will source from my own practice to invite you into a collective process of artistic research and mutual learning. Inspired by Beuys my work’s fundaments are based on INTUITITION-IMAGINATION-TRANSFORMATION. A recurring question in my practice concerns the ecological. How can we move towards a more ecological practice? Ecological here meaning fluid, in and with nature as a driving power and inspiration that makes movements and currents possible.

During this experimental research week you will befriend the thin line between art and life where art becomes a place for communication, desire, exchange and engagement. You will learn the tools how to create freely, unattached to form and connected to your artistic soul. By creating small rituals we come closer to express the inner nature of things. It will lead us to questions as: How can we stimulate a new ethical awareness from an aesthetic point of view and stimulate new knowledge formation? What are the skills you need? How do I, as an artist connect to the world and what do I find necessary to share? How can we collectively share and create?

Guest artists during this week are the group of former master students whom I worked with for the exhibition ‘Dooltocht/ A desperate quest to find a base for hope’ in M HKA. For this solo show I engaged in a deliberate collaboration with students and former master students of the Academy to re-create and re-make all my work. This eight week process of collective working, was based on the same three principles which Steiner calls the threefold social organism, that describes an experience of social reality wherein the attributes of the human body, soul and spirit are seen to exist in human society as the realms of economics, rights and culture, respectively. This had been an inspiration also to Joseph Beuys who used it as base for his life/art. For Beuys, art is not limited to a kind of aesthetic craft. Human life, work, thinking and acting is the most important work of art. Every day, from Monday till Thursday, one of the collaborators I worked with for the exhibition is invited to share how they experienced the process of preparing the exhibition.
Every day we receive a challenge from them.
On Monday we welcome Sadrie Alves, followed by Stefania Assandri, Flor Maesen and Yi & Honey on the consecutive days.
On Friday we will reflect on the results of the previous days - what did the experience teach us, how can we continue and how can we put the results into practice? – and, if possible, a modest presentation will be held for fellow students and researchers.

The masterclass is open to students from all disciplines and will focus on experiment, failure and necessity. Participants combine ideas through rituals and the use of drawing, in situ, movement, sculpture and video.
After this master classes a 16-Page Notebook will be completed.

“Egocentrism, inequality and our socio-economic models are driving people apart. We alienate from each other and our environment. That leads to loneliness, sadness and fear. Els Dietvorst makes art out of necessity, out of hope for change. With her work she creates meeting places, ways of being together, sharing and acting together.”
-- Indra Devriendt reviewing the exhibition in M HKA ‘Dooltocht/ A desperate quest to find a base for hope’ by Els Dietvorst, online on Jegens&Tevens, 25 februari 2020


>> This masterclass is part of the RESEARCH WEEK October 2020 and ARTICULATE | BAUHAUS 1 0 1