Jorg Bader. Beaux Art Geneva.
First of all I have to say that I’m a beginner. I started to teach really after 2000. So I don’t know if there is something changed. I think the most important thing is as you know in education first of all to give confidence to the students. I think this is the base. You can not fight with the students or think you have to have a relation, a tension relation with students. So this is the first thing-give them confidence. Then the second and I think this is as old as education is- to bring them to an independent thinking, that makes them as well critical thinking people. and what’s may be new in these years is to help them to get to the right sources. I think the big struggle in our days is access to the right sources in an information society as well. I think so to help them to find other sources than the mass sources who in our days are much more a propaganda worked and something else. I think on this level you really can help students. So in some words this is how I would define education nowadays.
So if you ask me about principles of education in contemporary Art I would like to say the same thing I just said for education in general. That what we as teachers can help as well in this wide range of contemporary production to help them to make their choices. I mean in this globalized world we can say that more or less two , I say it a bit in a caricatural way, there are two poles: the market, presented in a lot of cities with art fairs and you have as a parallel movement you have the Biennales .And of course in the biennales you can see works you can’t see in the art fairs and vice versa, may be just bustled trying more or less to do a kind of mix but even they can’t do it because they have no real creatural works. So for example what we saw in the Berlin Biennale or what we saw in the last Istanbul Biennale they are really created biennales and they have specific works and specific positions. And I think it’s more important in this way to show them this wide range which makes contemporary art and then of course to help them to formulate the important questions. I think if we go ahead, you know, in a, how to say, in a way that is fixed, determinated by the media if it’s painting or video, this would be a wrong direction I suppose. The important thing is to bring the student to what he wants to say to what he has to say and I thing the rest comes from along. They have to experiment it. Better they experiment it in different media, that they are first doing a media choice and then going to the contents. What I mean is to insist more on the fact that you have the institutional field that gives more open contents more experimental forms but less money. On the other hand you have the market field with less possibilities but more money. And I think this is very important to say to the students. I don’t want to say to do a kind of stigmatization of the market and saying that it’s bad, but just that they focus clearly in which direction they want to work. I mean important artist for example Pistoleto is clearly saying that he’s doing pieces for market or the pieces for institution and I think that is OK. And this is what the students should learn. and then what is what I would insist and this is something that I realize through teaching and observing in the art world is insist, insist, insist on the importance of theoretical backgrounds, that is of course more and more becoming important. I think that if we are looking on the last 20 years the important artists still working and still doing propositions that excite us. The main part of them they all have very strong theoretical background and I think we have to insist on that and this is I think especially in our Europe, in Western Europe societies huge difficulty because the students are starting with the kind of idea of arts that is formed by how mass-media are presenting that and of course they are at least on their mind.
If you ask me about the proportion of practical and theoretical education I have to avoid this question, because I still haven’t found the magical formula. This is really I don’t think that you can say it’s 50/50 or it’s 60/40. Something like that.
And if you ask me about theoretical disciplines, well, recommended for education, I think first of all I would say and this is something that in the French speaking part of Europe or in the World is neglected and this is what the Anglo-Saxons are calling visual culture. I think this is the most important theoretical background in our days and that of course we can go to anthropology, to sociology, to other fields.
I think you should just show the students that there are a lot of open fields and especially encourage them to read. I think this is one of the most terrible problems as a teacher how to bring them to read. And I have no formula for that.
And as for the last question I think what we should expect from the student coming out of art schools is that during all his study time he found a way for finance himself with a lot of little jobs and of course better, for example, in the audio-visual industry.
That he find a way to material independence and the best be connected with his ability, with his technical ability that he learned in the school so that he will have a certain independence that he can go ahead with his work without being completely dependent for example from the market, from the critics or decorators and by debts and that it is as well the most difficult in our days to tell, to give them the message that not everything is done or played in the first 5 years after they leave the institution and on the contrary, that they should have an idea of time on the longer distance, because I mean we all know that it’s a kind of long distance running.
Thank you very much Jorg. Thank you for your contribution for this project. Thank you. Good bye.