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22 Oct 2010

Manifesta 8, Collaborative Project: As the Academy Turns

Tiong Ang, Still from As the Academy Turns, 2010

As the Academy Turns
Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art


As the Academy Turns Research Statements, Soap Opera: October 9 - January 9 Symposium: December 2 - 4

Manifesta 8, Murcia
+ 34 868 914 414

Cendeac, Centro Parraga
Pabellon 5, Antiguo Cuartel de Artilleria C.

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As the Academy Turns is a multilayered project exploring the potentials and the tensions in the growth of artistic research and the current academization of art education. The 'academicisation' of art is increasingly marked by the strong expectation of research trajectories and how these will be shaped within the changing institutional framework of art education. In that context, the present possibilities of PhD research within visual art are particularly at the center of attention and debate. What do those challenges mean for the art academy as such? Will novel forms of academic elitism pop up or will research induce a novel form of intellectual conscience in the art academy? How will research and artistic practice be intertwined? Will they produce redefinitions in both domains or is research rather doomed to be a fringe phenomenon at the art academy? And the ultimate question, how will research be conducted within art academies? These themes will be tackled in three different dissemination platforms: a three day international symposium, an infolab presentation and an artwork in the form of a soap opera set in an art academy.

During the three-day symposium twelve exemplary research projects from prominent European art academies will be presented and discussed. The researchers involved are among others Denise Ziegler (Helsinki), Dolores Piqueras (Valencia), Frans Jacobi (Malmo), Georgina Jackson (Dublin), Guilio Squilacciotti (Venice), Irene Kopelman (Utrecht), Janis Rafailidou (Leeds), Katja Tukiainen (Helsinki), Magnus Bartas (Gothenburg), Maija Timonen (London) and Matts Leiderstam (Malmo).

Their presentations will be critically addressed by a number of high-profile authorities such as Alvaro de los Angelos (Valencia), Gertrud Sandqvist (Malmo), Hito Steyerl (Berlin), Jan Kaila (Helsinki), Jan Svenungsson (Berlin), Juergen Bock (Lisboa), Marquard Smith (London), Mick Wilson (Dublin), Mika Hannula (Gothenburg), Sarat Maharaj (Malmo), Tom Holert (Vienna) and Tuomas Nevanlinna (Helsinki).

In addition, a special infolab presentation in Cendeac including research statements provided by the twelve researchers will delve further into their research trajectories and practices.

The presentation of the soap opera As the Academy Turns, a commissioned project developed and realized by artist Tiong Ang, will also take place in Cendeac. The setting of the soap is the contemporary art academy where the characters - the art academy population of teaching staff and students - act within a situation of transformation where the current master-pupil oriented educational system moves towards a seminar-based form of education with artists as scholars and researchers in an academic community.

The soap As the Academy Turns brings together two diverging poles. On the one hand, it addresses contemporary artistic practice, autonomous artistic research and production as outcomes of art education. On the other hand, it presents the art academy 'remodeled' as a product of the entertainment industry in the context of popular daytime television serving a mainstream, neo-liberal, consumerist ideology. Elements of critique and of hoax are brought together through the soap opera form so that the genre's exaggerated dramatic style subverts and deconstructs popular views on graduate art education.

The project As the Academy Turns is developed by EARN and the Professorship Artistic Research (Henk Slager, maHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design) in collaboration with Manifesta 8, Murcia University and Cendeac.

As the Academy Turns is made possible by the financial support of Fonds BKVB (The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts), Amsterdam. Tiong Ang's soap production is also generously supported by SMART Project Space, Amsterdam.