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.
Insertions, Alterations and Rearrangements within Existing Institutional Frameworks
Dialogue with Harrell Fletcher and Nils Norman, opening statement and moderation by Clare Bishop
Clare Bishop introduced the session raising the question: Why is contemporary art so interested in Art Education?
She associated this apparent trend to increased interest in the social orientation of art, relational aesthetics and its institutionalisation, and the desire for more content within institutions. For her, there are parallels to be made between the historical upheavals in art and those in education. She talked about the autonomy of both art and education being at threat, and it is at this time that both fields find themselves as allies.
Harrell Fletcher discussed a number of his projects and how in every institution he tries to go beyond the obvious viewing each project as a form of research he attempts to create structures in order to learn about the new environments that he finds himself in.
Nils Norman talked through an expanded diagram of his practice, he spoke about his artistic and teaching practice being interlinked and connected to the idea of The Expanded School. He was very critical of the Bologna process and how this has impacted forms of teaching in art schools. His main question was: how is it possible to work within this system? He speculated on how a hybrid school can exist that borrows from both the Bozar and Bologna models.
Harrell Fletcher has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of socially engaged interdisciplinary projects for over fifteen years. He has shown at galleries internationally and in 2002 started Learning to Love You More a participatory website with Miranda July.
Nils Norman works across the disciplines of public art, architecture and urban planning. His projects challenge notions of the function of public art and the efficacy of much urban planning and large-scale regeneration. He sees teaching as an integral part of his methodology and has taught at art schools internationally, developing a School Without Walls model of teaching public art, based on the writings of the anarchist Colin Ward and other 70s experiments in education.
Clare Bishop is is Associate Professor in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York, and Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art, London.