Political school for artists

POLITICAL SCHOOL FOR ARTISTS (AND ALL INTERESTED) 2017

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Political School for Artists is an educational program in duration of three months which offers a basic knowledge and an apparatus for a systemic critique of capitalism and a background for rethinking the socialist alternative, with a special emphasis on the role and place of art in them. Program started in 2016, and motivation for organizing is twofold: 1.) as a reaction to current transformation in the field of education which is reflected on a more general level, and specifically in the field of art education, 2.) as a reaction to the transformation of the (left) political field, among whose side effects is also a particular ghettoization of left ideas in the art field, in its specific genre of political art (social practice, engaged art etc.), within which they circulate cleansed from articulated political agenda, and with no relations to the base.

The art of the 20th century is marked by constant tensions because of its relationship with politics and political organizing. Politics and political organization has now been overcome by activism, due to the wider process of 'discreditation' of the Left throughout the 20th century. Under pressure of demands for direct actions, political education has also been thrown in the ash heap of history, one that was once a constituent part of political organizing from below. One can not say that the art institutions have ever recognized the need for political and social education of artists, but on the other hand the artists themselves have been gaining access to such knowledge by participating in the political movements that cared about the education of its members. Contemporary activism in art, as well as activism in general, is being exhausted in spontaneous rebellions, often in completely individualized actions, predominantly within the framework of the institution of art that is  not even questioned as such. It can be concluded that after the 20-century-old debates, the notion of art as inherently  a/political, or, in any case, as an area free of social divisions, has prevailed. This should not come as a surprise when we examine the political landscape, and also consider the development of art education. It toggles between a conservative master and liberal postmodern approach, with the latter being crucial in academisation of artistic discourse. The absence of systemic education based on insights from political and social sciences is laced with latest neo-conservative tendencies, most evident in secondary education.

Political School for artists (and all interested) is structured around 10 concepts / themes, through sessions on a weekly basis (on Thursdays) with invited presenters, and it will last for 10 weeks (from 23 February to 27 April 2017).


THEMES: art and social movements, capitalism and the state, class, feminism, ideology, historical revisionism, politics of memory, liberalism, socialism, communism, politics of theatre.

PRESENTERS: Stipe Ćurković, Ivana Hanaček, Sanja Horvatinčić, Marko Kostanić, Ana Kutleša, Aleksandar Matković, Goran Pavlić, Toni Prug, Milan Radanović, Nikola Vukobratović, Vesna Vuković

 

Political School for Artists in 2017 included two public lectures:

PETJA DIMITROVA: ON ARTISTIC EDUCATION IN NEOLIBERALISM

IČO VIDMAR: POWER AND POWERLESSNESS OF THE MUSIC LABOUR UNIONS IN NEW YORK



The program is from 2017 financially supported by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe.