This is a 2-day delay post as I forgot to mention this event which took place Friday, 4/28 at Cooper Union. Featured panelists were: Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Nikolaus Hirsch, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Jalal Toufic, and Anton Vidokle. The topic of discussion was “Biennial as School” and was in particular reference to the upcoming Manifesta 6 which will take place in Cyprus this coming September-December 2006. (I had applied and was one of the many “rejected” so I was very curious to see/hear more specific details to what the program will entail). The discussion covered many various facets. Place was mentioned heavily and the fact that Cyrprus is an island that is still currently in amidst of political turmoil. The country itself is still divided between the Turkish and the Greeks. There are issues of territory which now even revolve around the Cyprian participants (a suppossed 20%) who will be part of Manifesta. What I seemed to understand is that this school will be set up in Cyprus-the first of its kind. Universities in Cyprus offer art courses but there is not an Art School in particular.
A second subject of interest was that of the locals and the ideal of globalization. An audience member raised the question of this group of curators and artists who are already in an elite standing “swooping” down persay into this more secluded part of the world and say that “This is the way an art school should be run” The question raises such issues as who determines what an art school is and who are the people who have the power to determine such a thing.
Liam Gillick was very outspoken on the matter and basically said that right now, there are several traditional MFA programs in art schools. Traditional in the sense that Artists/Students create an “object” which is then judged/viewed by the respective tutor/professor. The job of the tutor is to assist the student to better communicate their ideas. Their is a “psychological game” to match intentions with results. Artist intentions vs. the resulting art object. From what the panel was discussing their hope is to redefine what an art school is. (And here is where I started to have my own thoughts on the matter. 1st of all, I think that this traditional sense of the term “Art school” is still somewhat of an American or Western view point. The ideas of theory come highly into play. I personally am wondering, If the goal of the newly redefined Art School, is to bring about different results or of the moment results, then what is the role of the Artist if not to create objects?)