Block Autumn 2009 - Learning by Looking / Learning by Living / Learning by Teaching

'To be born an artist is both a privilege and a curse. How can it be taught…? It is not in my power or is it my responsibility or am I willing to try the impossible aim of teaching someone to 'become' an artist. However, we can talk about Art Education until the cows come home. It is nice and it can even be funny.'
Louise Bourgeois

Each DasArts Block creates an environment of inspiration, challenge, questioning and therefore learning. But how do we provoke, organize and recognize learning? Block Semester 2009 was focussed on the notion of learning within the context of arts education and about the process of learning and its strategies.

In Deconstruction of the Father / Reconstruction of the Father, a compilation of writings and interviews from and with Louise Bourgeois, there is a text which was originally made to accompany a series of etchings. It’s a mantra, written in the first place to comfort her own mind, to keep herself on the right track. In this text she talks to and teaches herself… and offers us some bright and wise words to bear in mind:The View from the Bottom of the Well.

Participating artists
Jaco Bouwer (ZA), Anton Bulayev (UKR/USA), Ntando Cele (ZA), Elina Cerpa (LV), Gertjan van Gennip (NL), Steffi Hensel (D), Maria Kefirova (BG/CAN), Miguel Angel Melgares (E), Nir Nadler (IL), Luca Andrea Stappers (NL)

Learning by looking

7 September to 30 September 2009
Mentor: Dennis Molendijk (NL)

The group of master students visited all the performances of ‘undefinedDe Internationale Keuze’ at the Rotterdamse Schouwburg. Dennis Molendijk has developed a programme of meetings and workshops with a variety of artists, scientists, philosophers, medical professionals, illusionists, and other experts on specific areas of looking, seeing, awareness and interpretation. The objective is to get an in-depth experience of the complexity of our processes of perception, followed by the question: What are the implications for the way we look at theatre?

Learning by Living

13 October to 9 November 2009
Mentor: Peter Stamer (D)

After having ‘looked at art’ and our way of ‘perceiving it’, we dived into an experience of the real. With Peter Stamer, the master students moved into a contemporary kibbutz, Neot Semadar in the Negev Desert in Southern Israel. The village, which was founded in 1989, is a community of people who try to acknowledge their relationships with each other and with their work. Our trip focused on physical work in order to create an altered concept of individuality, a different way of living, of seeing oneself in one’s surroundings, which may alter the presence, concept, and composition of the artist’s body, both mind and muscle.

At the end of our working residence at the kibbutz, the group spent some days in Tel Aviv in order to get in touch with the local arts scene, using the new experience to share it with other artists, interveners, performers in that environment.

Learning by teaching

16 November to 4 December 2009
Curators: Antonia Baehr (D) and Lindy Annis (USA)

‘Learning by Teaching’ concetrated on the act of creating a transmission of information. Some forms of performance can be very close to teaching. In this case, the theatre became a classroom and the audience the pupils, while adding a subject to the educational curriculum – just as when we sat in rows of desks and listened to the teacher bestowing knowledge upon us children who were mute and in the dark.

The students were assigned to make their own lesson-performance or performance-lesson and dictate not only its content but also its form and intended audience.

(kopie 1)