Donnerstag, 6. Mai 2010

The Autonomy Project

The Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis and the PMK are participating in the Autonomy Project, a collaboration between a number of institutions - including the Van Abbemuseum, where the Autonomy Summer School will take place from 28 June to 2 July. Attempting to redefine autonomy in contemporary art, the project involves both art and art history students, hence the crucial role played by art schools and universities. A web site - a NING, to be precise - has been created, with discussion groups that participants can join. Unfortunately, the PMK group and most other Dutch groups are still dormant (whereas the Hildesheim group in particular contains a lot of material), but hopefully this will change.

So what is it all about? In part that's for the participants to decide, but here's a short introduction, taken from the site:

The word 'autonomy' sounds outdated. In an artistic field, this term finds itself unfortunately wedged between two possibilities: the romantic notion of the isolated Artist, developing works in a studio, unaffected by the socio-political beyond his walls; or the cold reality that to operate within those same socio-political arenas an artist and the mediators involved in a creative action are only there to facilitate a public agendas or to smooth social process. These two positions are not mutually exclusive. The current state of contemporary art practice in the Netherlands and other Western European countries is multicultural, globalised, professionalised. And it is within this multi-faceted geographic and cultural context that the Autonomy Project seeks to facilitate a number of events over the coming years (including a public debate and formal symposium) in different locations, bringing the issue and practice of autonomy back into debate.

And as for the structure of the Summer School:

The week-long programme will mingle rhetorical and theoretical discussion around notions of Autonomy with active group work, as well as presentations by guest artists and speakers. The Summer School aims to equip the next generation of creative agents with the critical skills to articulate their position and practice in relation to the possibilities of Autonomy, while operating within the complex contemporary cultural field. The week will be loosely structured around a daily theme. Each day will offer several presentations by guests as well as an opportunity for discussion and workshop sessions. Participants are free to decide which discussions and activities they would like to join - our aim is to make it possible for participants to attend every presentation if they wish but also to create time for reading, group work, debate and production of work or responses. During the evenings we will also visit projects of interest around Eindhoven.

Image: Rafts by Robert Jasper Grootveld moored next to the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

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