Spring 2009

Monte Verità (2) or the academy as a model for ‘being in the world’

‘At its best education forms collectivities - many fleeting collectivities that ebb and flow, converge and fall apart. These are small ontological communities propelled by desire and curiosity, cemented together by the kind of empowerment that comes from intellectual challenge.'
Irit Rogoff, Turning/Journal/e-flux *

Monte Verità (2) or the academy as a model for being in the world Within the official art educational framework of the Netherlands we have implemented the so-called "Bologna Process" with its resultoriented, technocratic culture and its plans for homogeneous higher education across Europe without putting up resistance. Maybe we felt safe enough since we somehow managed to preserve our quite eclectic, but nevertheless unique concoction of several somewhat contradictory art educational ideologies oscillating between romantic concepts of total autonomy and down-to-earth business sense. At its best Dutch art education truly teaches individual students how to "become who they are" regardless of conventions and hierarchies, but at its sloppiest it allows them to adopt an unparalleled ostrich attitude towards anything other than "Me, myself and I" - the latter being very much out of line with art's renewed desire to bond with the world.
Several recent art projects that took place outside institutionalized art education and that presented the academy as ‘potentiality', as a model for ‘being in the world' (both concepts coined by, once again Irit Rogoff) have shaken up the self-image of those art schools that are not afraid to test their viability as sites for transgressing boundaries when the occasion arises.
If artistic practise is indeed shifting from sheer object production to more research and knowledge based approaches, critical debate on these new developments should take place inside the art schools as well. In order to comply with that, Monte Verità (2) will introduce Rietveld students to a wealth of ideas and opinions on art, education and the "fleeting collectivities" that can be generated by their interrelatedness.

* Irit Rogoff is a theorist, curator and Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College.

Curated by Jorinde Seijndel and Gabriëlle Schleijpen.

Jorinde Seijdel is general editor of 'Open, cahier voor kunst & het publieke domein', chairs the Comissie Basissubsidies Fonds BKVK. Jorinde Seijdel teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

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