Group Exhibition at STORE, including: Mai Abu ElDahab, Dexter Sinister, Chris Evans, Ryan Gander and Will Holder

The proposal for the exhibition, sent to the artists by STORE read:

Dear Chris, Dexter, Mai, Ryan and Will,

In his 1919 Bauhaus Manifesto Walter Gropius asserted: “Art cannot be taught”. Given that Gropius was in the process of founding a school for the modern arts, this statement might seem odd. However, the idea of the art school seems to be a self-questioning phenomenon. There have been numerous proposed alternatives to the traditional model; George Macunias’ New Marlborough Centre for Arts (1968-9) and Joseph Beuys’ Free International University of Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research (founded 1974). More recently the debate has continued through proposals for exhibitions (the cancelled Manifesta 6), magazines (issue 101 of frieze), more free schools (The United Nations Plaza, Berlin 2006-7) and conferences (History of Productive Failures, Berlin, November 2006).

It is often assumed that the art school, in whatever form it takes, should act as a bastion of freedom where artists can experiment free from the logic of the market-place. So it is unsurprising that reformulated notions of the art school have been geared towards imagining a form of idealised public space. Yet what sense does this premise make in Britain in 2006 where tertiary education is no longer free? It seems naïve to imagine the art school as a privileged form of public space when admission is dependent on paying tuition fees. To this end, STORE proposes an exhibition that re-examines the art school. The exhibition will explore the issues of knowledge production, circulation and ownership; the regime of the art school and the career of the artist. We want to situate the art school experience pragmatically within, or alternatively both within and against, the logic of capital. We would like you to contribute to this exhibition.

The exhibition will take place at STORE through March and April 2007. The siting of the exhibition in a commercial gallery might imply a loss of faith in the transformative powers of public institutions. It might suggest that a critical methodology could best be learnt outside the traditionally imagined art school. It might gesture towards a post-hierarchical site of knowledge production and circulation. And if freedom is no longer the preserve of a mythical education sanctum, but in fact a constituent part of the pervasive power of global capital, where then might artistic resistance lie?

What: On the Future of the Art School, group exhIbition
Where: STORE, 27 Hoxton Street
London N1 6NH
When: Fri 16 Mar - Sat 14 Apr 2007
Associated Events: Preview, 15 March 2007, from 6pm
with a talk by Mai Abu ElDahab and a lecture by Will Holder
Further details:
Read the Dexter Sinister text
Tel. 020 7729 8171