Education from Below is a two-year collaborative programme organised between the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, MACBA, Barcelona and WHW, Zagreb.
Education from Below explores art as a place for dialogue, collective learning and imagination. Education doesn't belong only in institutions, but it can be horizontal and come from below, from communities.
The project recognises that art practices can dislocate the usual hierarchies of what should or should not be learned and traditional divisions between theory and practice, and that knowledge does not have to be based on accumulation, but rather on sharing and mutual learning.
The partners will explore new models of art practice based on collective learning and will generate a network of institutions and professionals for sharing methodologies.
Education from Below links three independent programmes for artists, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, PEI at MACBA, and WHW Akademija that each provide important opportunities for artistic development outside of formal education systems. The project will be realised over the course of autumn 2019 – autumn 2021 through seminars, study groups, artist residencies, exhibitions, series of lectures, an international conference, a collective reader and a common web platform, involving many artists, thinkers and educators.
Bert Scholten examines the symbolic layers and multitude of historical references that are hidden in local customs and rituals.He provides insight into forgotten customs and obscure stories that he brings together in the transitions of traditions in the form of sounds, songs, talks and performances.
Can songs be used to revive the customs? How would the celebrations change for use in today's world, like the offerbread changed over the years? Could the way of sharing the project start a circulation? Can making the translation of the Dutch songlyrics collaboratively be a way of sharing? Where the personal approach adds new stories and details to this interpersonal subject. By discussion or polemic.
Investigating the Dutch folklore of the Koekplank - a wooden mould used to bake figurative breads - Scholten wants to find a way where there can be a polyphony of voices within the ritual of giving and receiving, but where this is also really circulating and reciprocating.The people who made the woodcuts were travelling craftsmen, recutting the same image in different places. There’s a troubadour kind of quality to this. A repetition of images, and a gradual disappearance of their meaning. Just as folk tales they change over time and take on new forms and meanings. But what comes back when something loses its meaning?
Rijksakademie alum Bert Scholten (RA 18/19) is often called a contemporary troubadour. In his work he resorts to a tradition in which songs were a means of spreading stories. Scholtens songs, with titles as ‘De Paardenmishandelaar’ (The Horse Abuser), ‘De Gefrustreerde Metropolitaan’ (The Frustrated Metropolitan) or ‘Mina Koes’, find their origin in old folk stories or local news items, often from the Northern Netherlands. Scholten investigates these stories and traces the different versions that often exist. In his performances he carries out the lyrics with instrumental accompaniment.
This residency is a collaboration with Framer Framed, platform for contemporary art, visual culture and critical theory & practice.