Educational Turn

Irit Rogoff: Turning

  • Educational turn in curating
  • Does this turn address education or curating?
  • Foucault´s parrhesia (free, blatant public speech) = better model through which to understand some kind of educational turn in art
  • Academy project – collaboration between 22 participants and the staff of the museum (What can we learn from the museum? What can museum show or teach? How the museum / the university/the art school can surpass their current functions? How can that be applied to the rest of our lives?)
  • European reform of education (Bologna) – instead of lamenting the awfulness of these reforms – we thought it might be productive (politicizing of education)
  • The institutions and their reach could be wider
  • Potentiality – a possibility to act that is not limited to ability
  • Actualization – certain meanings and possibilities embedded within objects, situations, actors, and spaces carry a potential to be liberated as it were
  • It is important for mobilizing re-evaluation of education
  • Questions: What are legitimate questions? (Seminar class)
  • Question of ownership of image or idea
  • Is museum n institution?
  • Museum´ v. our own knowledge
  • Summit – forum in Berlin, 2007
  • Weak education – non-reactive, how bad everything is.
  • Potentiality + Actualization = capacity o replace the reorganization of education with ideas concerning distribution and dissemination
  • Education = shift from a culture of emergency to one of urgency
  • Education should be accessible and it should be a challenge
  • Turn = we are in movement, not it
  • Capacity for artistic and curatorial practices to capture the dynamics of a turn
  • Pedagogical aesthetics
  • Turn must result not only in new formats, but also in another way of recognizing when and why something important is being said
  • Parrhesia – verbal activity in which the speaker expresses his personal relation to truth, and risks his life, because he recognizes truth – telling as a duty to improve or help other people
  • Parrhesia – speech when it is stated openly, blatantly, in public – this truth must be spoken in public, must have an audience, and must take the form of an address
  • Educational turn is the moment when we attend to the production and articulation f truths – not truth as correct, as provable as fact, but truth as that which collect around it subjectivities that are neither gathered nor reflected by other utterances


Curatorial education

  • According to Michel Foucalt, curating is a new discursive formation
  • Educational turn describes a tendency in contemporary art prevalent since the second half of the 1990s, in which different modes of educational forms and structures, alternative pedagogical methods and programs appeared in/as curatorial and artistic practices.
  • Initiatives related to the educational turn revolve around the notion of education, gaining and sharing knowledge, artistic/curatorial research, and knowledge production. The emphasis is not on the object-based artwork. Instead, the focus of these projects is in on the process itself, as well as on the use of discursive, pedagogical methods and situations in and outside of the exhibition
  • The most common aspects of art works, exhibitions, and projects interpreted within the framework of the educational turn, include developing new methodologies, which allow for the democratization of the access to knowledge; the use of new genres and methods of presentation; the transformation of the positions of the artist, the curator, the artwork, and the viewer, as well as the formative engagement of the participants in the process of the project.
  • The educational turn can be considered mainly a tendency in art that shapes the processes of creation, acts as an incentive for self-organization (~collaboration), and it also concerns the (self-)revision of museums, as well as the transformation of the art institutions into educational platforms. Furthermore, it reacts to changes in public education.
  • One of the main goals of artists and curators is to establish ways of sharing knowledge, which besides, or instead of, disseminating the hegemonic value system, allows for a more flexible and anti-bureaucratic practice that also takes current issues and the need of the participants into account.
  • We can distinguish between education through art, curatorialisation of education and education of art education.
  • Artistic practice – action teaching or performative lectures
  • Curators are expected to have contributed to their academic field, for example, by delivering public talks, publishing articles, or presenting at specialist academic conferences – that is why curating is educational
  • We teach and we educate ourselves
  • Connection between art and education: various formats, disciplines and opened up space to mediate a site where socio-political and historical issues and creativity converge with visual culture and civil engagement
  • The role of the curator is always changing as we are educated more and more
  • Curators have become cultural producers and exhibition makers—does this then mean we create knowledge? For whom? And to what ends? It is within this place—inside the institution—where we find a simulacrum of the production of knowledge within curatorial practice. And it is this space where we find ourselves re-thinking our curatorial practice.
  • Socially engaged curating is a type of curatorial work and is part of what has been called the “social turn,” where curators employ pedagogical methodologies and approaches as part of the curatorial premise and process.
  • these new approaches build on the development of curatorial practice, the changing face of museology, and reflect the socio-political context within which curators find themselves.
  • Can we take this “learned knowledge” from curatorial practice and involve other bits and pieces? Curators are influenced by many sources, ideas, and fields. Why limit ourselves by “knowing”?
  • Curating’ is ‘business as usual’ in terms of putting together an exhibition, organizing a commission, programming a screening series, et cetera. ‘The curatorial’ goes further, implying a methodology that takes art as its starting point but then situates it in relation to specific contexts, times, and questions in order to challenge the status quo. And it does so from various positions, such as that of a curator, an editor, an educator, a communications person, and so on. This means that the curatorial can be employed, or performed, by people in a number of different capacities within the ecosystem of art.
  • In small to mid-size museums and galleries, curators often work closely with educators; increasingly, we see the divisions between departments in museum/gallery/art spaces being blurred. In the case of larger organizations, there have been more decisive and more divisive attempts.
  • One might ask whether the educational turn is a turn within contemporary art, or it is rather the quick (and perhaps non-reflexive) burgeoning of the term. First it was Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson, as well as Irit Rogoff who used the expression “educational turn” in 2008. Rogoff in her text asks if it is a reading strategy when education is read through a different system, such as the filter of exhibition display (~exhibition display), or it is rather an interpretive model. In fact, with the proliferation of discursive practices (~discursivity), the educational turn is a tendency in contemporary art. As a consequence of the ever-expanding literature on this concept, art and curatorial projects of the educational turn take their place more and more steadily within the above-delineated theoretical and historical contexts.



Manifesta Art Mediation


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