Nick Ash



Developments in our knowledge of how the arts and specifically the practice of art making can trigger aesthetic self learning processes in children have led to a reassessment of what form an art class can and should take on. When a child is able to productively self learn and explore individual areas of interest, then what role should the teacher have? Are we to leave the children to their own devices and restrict our interventions to maintaining order? Or should teachers try to develop ways in engaging with the children’s explorative processes? At the Universität der Künste Berlin an art studio has been created within the grund_schule der künste to explore these questions.

Today, only the boundaries of the imagination and the law of the land place any kind of restrictions on what can become art. The act of choosing has become the overriding artistic form of expression in contemporary art that is pivotal to how exhibitions are conceived today and particularly evident in installations where individual objects are seen as parts of a whole. Choosing what to place where in a space was traditionally the domain of the curator. The merging definition of the artist and the curator can help explore how art classes can be reconceptualized. The principle agents a teacher can use in an art class are material, the classroom space itself and language (spoken, written and body language) which are in fact the same agents the artist and curator use in an exhibition. The studio at the grund_schule der künste has taken on the role of a laboratory where it will be possible to observe the effects highly individual and diverse approaches to spatial and material interventions can have on the art making processes of children. Every semester we will invite an artist to share the studio with a group of children, both the artist and the children are invited to work on each other’s spacial and material interventions, whereby the artist and the children are the joint authors of the work and during the process have both entered into a spatial and material dialog that is manifested in the final installation.

The research therefore aims to look at how the role of the art teacher can develop into that of a curator working together with the children by supporting their self learning activities with spatial, material and conceptual interventions.