Deschooling Society Podcasts – Episode 5 – Keynote Lecture from Martha Rosler and discussion with Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Jointly organised by the Serpentine Gallery and Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery, Deschooling Society brought together writers, artists and curators to discuss the changing relationship between art and education over two days at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room.

We are pleased to now be able to offer a series of podcasts of these presentations and discussions.

Episode 5


Photography: Mark Blower

Keynote Lecture from Martha Rosler and discussion with Hans-Ulrich Obrist
Introduced by Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery
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Martha Rosler spoke of education in terms of creativity versus discipline and order. Rosler labelled education as the doctrine of the age, whose aim was to produce subjects and citizens. Education as such has become a means of elevating empowerment over simple literacy and numeracy. She cited individuals such as Richard Florida’s work on the rise of the creative class as the forbearer of this form of thinking.

In contemporary society museums are a form of mass culture, with this development the concept of advanced art has disappeared. Art no longer has a metaphysical or transcendental function, it is rather linked to consumption, fashion and celebrity – this is evidence of the conflation of art with the taste classes.

Martha posed the question: what can art teach? For her, Art serves to illuminate practically everything we know about, what it can’t do in our times (notably in our museums) is deal with the political.

Martha Rosler’s work centres on the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life – actual and virtual – especially as the affect women. Projects range from housing, architecture, and systems of transport to war and the “national security climate,” connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad.

Hans-Ulrich Obrist has been Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London since 2006.

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