FINA20031: Studio Options 2 Intensive: Venice Biennale – Frankfurt – Münster Sculpture Project – Documenta – Berlin; Contemporary Art Tour 2017. For School of Art Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art)
Semester: Non-Teaching Period and Semester 2
School: School of Art, Faculty of VCA and MCM, The University of Melbourne
Course Lecturers: Simone Slee and Lou Hubbard
Credit Points: 12.5 credit points
Enrolments: Available to 2nd Year BaVa (VA) students
The alignment of three of the most significant European art events: the 57th Venice Biennale, the 5th Münster Sculpture Project and Documenta 14 in Kassel occurs only once every ten years. In 2017 the School of Art is offering a Studio Options 2, 2o-day trip to capitalise on this unique opportunity. This tour will also include a stop-over in Frankfurt am Main and a six day exploration of Berlin, two key international centres of art in Germany.
This is the second Studio Options 2 tour conducted by the School of Art, and this 2017 subject has been developed in collaboration with Australians Studying Abroad.
This course will be introduced at VCA and then taught in Venice, Frankfurt, Kassel, Münster and Berlin during a 20-day research tour in addition to producing artworks and an exhibition at VCA on return from the trip. The subject will offer students an immersive experience and intensive research study of these key art events and cities of art production. It will involve preliminary lectures and associated textual study, followed by on-site seminars and group discussions. A Subject Outline, including a Project brief and readings will be given to students prior to the trip departure late in Semester 1. Assignments will be determined as projects pertinent to the location and the event. This will be researched and drafted (in journal or other modes of recording) during the visit and then completed upon return to the VCA with an exhibition outcome in the Student Gallery in semester 2, 2017.
Overview and context of art events and cities visited
Visit to the monumental Brion Tomb, in San Vito d’Altivole, designed by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, between 1970 and 1975.
Venice Biennale – 57th International Art Exhibition
The Venice Biennale is one of the longest established and most significant agenda-setting contemporary art events on the international art calendar. Okwui Enwezor, the 2015 Biennale’s director claimed: “No event or exhibition of contemporary art has continuously existed at the confluence of so many historical changes across fields of art, politics, technology, and economics, like la Biennale di Venezia.” The biennale is renowned for profiling artists representing the various nations included in the exhibition, coupled with a history of selecting influential international curators.
2017 will be Venice’s 57th biennale and it will be directed by the French curator of the Centre Pompidou, Christine Macel. Her emphasis for the 57th Biennale will be on the role of artists creating and injecting vitality into the world despite the age of anxiety and rifts pervasive in the world today. In addition to the curated exhibition within the pavilions of the Giardini and Arsenale, the national pavilions will include solo exhibitions by those Tracey Moffat representing Australia and Phyllida Barlow representing the United Kingdom.
The Studio Options study tour will comprise five full days in Venice with extensive time spent in the main venues for the Biennale (the pavilions within the Giardini and Arsenale) as well as numerous satellite exhibitions across the city. It will also include other significant museums in Venice in addition to experiencing the unique and rich historical cosmopolitan canal city of Venice.
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Between Venice and the Münster Sculpture Project we shall stop over at the international hub Frankfurt am Main. Akin to many German regional cities, Frankfurt has an interconnected art network of internationally significant museums, Kunstverein (Art Club) and Art Academy and galleries. In Frankfurt this includes the Schirn Kunsthalle, Museum für Moderne Kunst and possibly at the re-known art school, the Staedelschule and its associated contemporary art space, Portikus. This tour will spend two days in Frankfurt am Main investigating some of these various art spaces.
Münster Sculpture Project
Every ten years since 1977, the Münster Sculpture project has been exhibiting artworks that investigate the relationship between site location, politics, public space and the urban environment in the city of Münster. Since the project’s inception there has been curatorial involvement by German curator Kasper König (curator at Museum Ludwig and prior rector of the Staedelschule, Frankfurt). This fifth sculpture project also includes curators Britta Peters and Marianne Wagner. The Münster Sculpture Project has made a significant contribution to the discourse of contemporary public art and a model for many cities that we can see in examples such as Public Art Melbourne. Important artworks in the canon of contemporary art have become permanent in the city of Münster including Bruce Nauman’s Square Depression (1997 realized in 2007) and Ilya Kabakov’s Look up and read the words, (1987).
The Studio Options tour will spend a day on bicycle travelling throughout the city visiting both the new temporary artworks of the Münster Sculpture Project and the permanent artworks.
Documenta 14, Kassel
Documenta is a 100-day exhibition established in 1955 to showcase modern and contemporary art in Germany after the repression of modern art by the Nazis before and during the Second World War. Documenta quickly became not only a significant event for the contemporary art in Germany, but soon included other international artists to become one of the most important art events on the international art calendar. Documenta occurs every five years and this Documenta 14 will be curated by Polish-born Adam Szymczyk. Szmczyk is the prior curator of Kunsthalle Basel and has been described by the New York Times as a “curatorial rock star” (‘Superstar Among Curators. The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-04.) The curatorial framework for Documenta 14 is: “The Parliament of Bodies and Open Form Societies.” The Documenta Public Programs asks: “What does it mean to be public? How does a body become public? What are the political conditions of representation? Is representation the only form of political, democratic action? Can the social contract be rewritten? Can an exhibition be thought as a Parliament of Bodies, as an ensemble of relationships between animate and inanimate beings producing agency through cooperation?”(see: Public Programs, Posted on 23.10.2016).
This Studio Options 2 tour will be visiting Documenta in Kassel over at least three full days.
Since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin with its rich cultural and sub-cultural heritage, cheap living and affordable studio conditions has attracted artists to live and work from all over Europe and beyond. As a consequence, over the 1990s and 2000s, Berlin has emerged as one of the world’s most central locations of artistic production with a proliferation of studios, galleries, museums and art events such as Art Forum Berlin and the Berlin Biennale.
This Studio Options class will spend the last six days of the tour visiting key museums and galleries in order to contextualise the experience of the large scale art events of Documenta, the Biennale and the Münster Sculpture Project.
Subject material and activities
Readings and handouts pertaining to the background of the art events and cities to be visited will provide broad historical and contextual details for the subject and the project. In addition, students are expected to identify and locate further readings in relation to their research and proposed artwork while in Europe and on return to Australia. Teaching staff will advise students on research techniques that may be used to locate additional reading material.
Site visits will take several forms: on-site lectures and walking tours; museum and gallery visits; independent self-guided tours. Visits may be three or more hours in duration, and travel time to these sites will vary. Visits will usually be scheduled in order for student to remain on-site as long as they please afterwards, or be in an area of the city that offers activities related to the site. Site visits may be rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions. Teaching staff will be happy to advise students of optional site visits that complement the curriculum and may be undertaken independently by students.
This course is very demanding, both physically and mentally. The program involves a considerable amount of walking, as well as the navigation a lot of steep stairs and use of the subway and other forms of public transport. Weather conditions in Europe, in summer, can range from very hot to cold and wet.
The Course Lecturers
Studio Options 2 Intensive: Venice Biennale – Frankfurt – Münster Sculpture Project – Documenta – Berlin; Contemporary Art Tour 2017 will be led by Simone Slee (Head of Sculpture and Spatial Practice) and Lou Hubbard (Head of Photography) who in addition to being academics at the School of Art, VCA, Faculty of the VCA & MCM are both practicing contemporary artists.
Lou Hubbard has a Masters of Fine Art from RMIT University and is Head of Photography, School of Art VCA & MCM,The University of Melbourne
Simone Slee is an artist and the Head of Sculpture & Spatial Practice, School of Art, VCA & MCM, The University of Melbourne
For reservations and travel information:
Australians Studying Abroad
Tel: 03 98226899
Fax: 03 98226989
Email: [email protected]
Academic enquiries only:
Tel: 03 90359491
email: [email protected]
Tel: 03 90359484
Email: [email protected]
Teaching staff will be throughout the trip at regularly scheduled times to speak to students about assignments, offer advice on research, or to assist students in finding their way about the city.