Towards a Socialism of Creation
Luis Camnitzer in conversation with María Acaso and Selina Blasco
Escuela Perturbable, an education programme developed with the patronage of Fundación Daniel y Nina Carasso
Inside the framework of the retrospective Luis Camnitzer: Hospice of Failed Utopias (17 October 2018 to 4 March 2019) and the launch of the studies, residencies and cultural productions programme the Perturbable School, this encounter sees the artist touch on his conception of critical artistic pedagogy, not only in schools and universities but also museums, and on where this work of reflection fits into his own artistic career.
Luis Camnitzer (Lübeck, 1937) views conceptual art as a practice of political intervention in a repressed public sphere. This occurs in his art and curation work, demonstrated by the influential landmark exhibition Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s (conceived with Jane Farver and Rachel Weiss at New York’s Queens Museum in 1999). In the same manner, Camnitzer is one of the most incisive thinkers with regard to the relationship between art and education, an issue which has led him to consider the different possibilities in the museum institution, the art object, spectators and even the role of art.
Upon what are his ideas of education and art based? In opposition with predominant ideas, which see learning as being contingent upon an explanation of the art work, Camnitzer endorses the integration of both, thus enabling this traditional dependency to be subverted and seeking alternatives to market logic, where art is conceived to produce the art object and education is viewed as training towards a particular end. According to Camnitzer, in this new relationship “education is art and art is education”. This new idea of art, moreover, entails radically questioning the limits of the museum and the artwork; in the words of the artist, which lend this debate its name, “Liberating the spectator so they think about everything they do artistically, and helping them to create a socialism of creation”.
María Acaso is head of Education at the Museo Reina Sofía. A teacher and theorist, her reflections include the concept of “educational revolution”, a method of action to develop an alternative teaching practice. Her publications include Art Thinking: un libro que revolucionará la manera de educar (2017) and La educación artística no son manualidades. Nuevas prácticas en la enseñanza de las artes y la cultura visual (2014), and she is the founder of Invisible Pedagogies, a collective of disruptive education.
Selina Blasco is a professor of Art History in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid. The collective initiatives she has worked on include “Sin créditos” (Without Credits), a programme based on learning as an experimental process. She is also one of the academic coordinators in the MA on Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture run by the Museo Reina Sofía.
Luis Camnitzer is an artist, educator and theorist who has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, the São Paulo Biennial, the Whitney Museum and documenta, Kassel, to name but a few. Moreover, his work belongs to the Collections of MoMA (New York), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Tate Modern (London), the Blanton Museum (Austin, Texas), the Cisneros Collection (Caracas/New York) and the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid). His publications most notably include Arte y Enseñanza: La ética del poder (2000) and Didáctica de la liberación. Arte conceptualista latinoamericano (2009), and he was the pedagogical curator at the 6th Mercosul Biennial and the Iberé Camargo Foundation (Porto Alegre) between 2007 and 2010.