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Knowledge Academy. How and why artists are turning to artistic research and knowledge production

Knowledge Academy. How and why artists are turning to artistic research and knowledge production

The Knowledge Academy explores how and why artists and curators are turning to education and knowledge production as ‘spaces of potentiality for the development of new critical practise'. Can or must the artist be a researcher or an educator?

‘You’re an artist and that means: you’re a dreamer, you’re a clown. That is what some people think. It’s a great excuse for not paying any attention to all the thoughts you have. So what happens is that you, as an artist, put ideas into projects that others will show in their museum, in their Kunsthalle, in their exhibition space, in their gallery. So you are a thinker. […]’
This quote is from Dieter Lesage’s text/exhibition 'A portrait of the artist as a researcher' which questions the limits of the artistic research discourse and asks how artists “speak” through their work, reflect and take position. Lesage holds a plea for the specificity of free artistic research, which would not need an academic supplement to be legitimate. Parallel to artistic research, the notion “knowledge production” has become significant within contemporary art practises and the academy. Emerging from art historical, social, and political perspectives, these notions are tested as possible alternatives to the conventional production and distribution of knowledge and education.
This series of lectures explores how and why artists and curators are turning to education and knowledge production as ‘spaces of potentiality for the development of new critical practise’. Can or must the artist be a researcher or an educator? Lesage’s text ends with a significant provocation: ‘Rise against the image of the artist as a dreamer. Rise against the image of the artist as a clown. Rise against what some people think. And make them pay attention to all the thoughts you have. But continue to develop your thoughts your way. Beyond the Academy.’

Eva Fotiadi is an art historian working on 20th century art. She has completed her PhD on participation and collaboration in contemporary art and is currently teaching at the University of Amsterdam and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has also curated exhibitions. She studied art history, archaeology and museum studies in Greece, the UK and the Netherlands.

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