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.
The course revolves around questions of liveness, performativity and movement in an exhibition context. It aims to address, both practically and theoretically, the current international debate on how the recent “performance turn” of dance and choreography in the arts is invested in contesting late modernist formulations and structures, and how it reevaluates discourses of institutional critique, queer theory, postcolonial theory and relates them to collective memory and writing of history.
We will do practical work involving the body and we will connect it to the interests and practices of the participants. Other topics of concern for the workshop are related to how live works in the public space and the exhibition space hold a potential for different regimes of attention, for reconfiguring the public sphere as a more communal and collective experience. Within the particular context of the WHW Akademija, we will also work around the notion of collection with a focus on the Kontakt Collection, which comprises mainly historical art works from the former Eastern and Central Europe. The intensive reflected on questions such as: politics of embodiment, preservation, visibility, ownership and politics of display. We will also visit artist studios in Zagreb and get to know more about their present practices or former practices, and how those are inscribed into historical narratives and by which forms of representation. No need for previous training or dance education is required.
Manuel Pelmuş was born in Bucharest. He is a choreographer and artist who lives and works in Oslo and Bucharest. Pelmuş could be seen as one of the protagonists of the “new performance turn,” artists who have been reimagining the role of performance in the context of visual arts. He often deploys continuous live presence within the context of exhibitions, using enactment as a strategy and the human body as a medium and a means to explore the body’s relationship to memory and the construction of history. In addition to his recent solo exhibition at Para Site, Hong Kong (2018), Pelmus’s projects have been featured at institutions including the Tate Modern, London; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centre National de la Danse, Paris; TanzQuartier, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Tanz im August, Berlin; and the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, among others. In 2013, he represented Romania at the 55th Venice Biennale with a collaborative project with Alexandra Pirici. He also participated in the Off-Biennale, Budapest (2017), and the Kyiv Biennale (2015). In 2012, Pelmus was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for performance arts and later recognised with the prize for excellence from the National Dance Center of Bucharest in 2015.