press release

School Days explores the experiences and environments of school, college and university, through the work of nine contemporary artists. The exhibition emphasises school not only as a place of organised learning, but as a space of social interaction and self-awareness that often occurs outside the classroom and exam hall: such as in playgrounds, canteens, and in corridors.

The selected artists in the exhibition draw upon school in all of its varieties: its architecture and its social codes, its rituals and its misbehaviours. Reflected in the exhibition is the sense that school can be understood as both a place and a process. We might describe a school or a university as a number of buildings and departments, but we might also refer to terms such as ‘schooling’ or being ‘schooled’.

Education is something we’ve all experienced in one form or another. The memories of school or college tend to conjure a mix of feelings for most. We might remember our own education through personal achievements and qualifications, but we might also recall it through friends and classmates, or through the daily routine of the school journey, revisions for exams, and the chaos of the lunch hour.

In works by Corin Sworn, Ronan McCrea and Eamon O’Kane, there is an emphasis on ‘play’ as a way of learning, referencing the theories of Friedrich Froebel - an early pioneer of kindergarten and infant playschools. For artists Christian Philipp Muller and Raimond Wouda, it is the relationship between architecture and the student body that is of primary interest. A comparative study of campus design in Christian Philipp Muller’s work becomes a way of seeing how architectural plans coincide and intervene with educational ambitions, while for Raimond Wouda, the emphasis is placed upon the informal spaces of lunch halls, locker rooms and common areas where students congregate and socialise.

In Eva Kotatkova’s work, she draws upon her own memories and experiences of education through drawings, sculpture and video works, emphasising the emotional experience of school’s everyday traumas. For Darcy Lange and Annette Krauss, their project-based works document students themselves; relaying Raimond Wouda, Comprehensive School Tabor I, Hoorn, 2006 stories from the classroom and interrogating the typical relationships that exist between student, teacher, and curriculum. In Rineke Dijkstra’s work, like others in the exhibition, she draws attention to the relationship between learning and its representation.

Artists in the exhibition draw upon their involvement in education to prompt us to consider our own experiences. While many of the artists explore the applied principles of teaching and learning, others consider the groundlevel perspective of students themselves. Through a diversity of approaches, School Days focuses on the way that education at all levels reflects our broader society.

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School Days: the look of learning
Kurator: Matt Packer

Künstler: Rineke Dijkstra, Eva Kotatkova, Annette Krauss, Darcy Lange, Ronan McCrea, Christian Philipp Muller, Eamon O´Kane, Corin Sworn, Raimond Wouda