School Watch

Frankfurt’s Städelschule: Free Artistic Work and the Paradox of Introversion

by Kirsty Bell

With a clutch of successful and influential artists on staff, and recent alumni conspicuously present in the art world’s exhibition circuits, Frankfurt’s State Academy of Fine Arts, or Städelschule, is considered by many to be one of the best art schools in Europe, if not beyond. But, like the city itself, which boasts a massive international airport and a glittering financial district, but only has a population of seven hundred thousand, the school’s outward success belies its scale. It has only 130 art students (plus fifty architects in the affiliated master’s program) and a core staff of seven full-time professors. [...] read more

Video School

Peter Osborne: What makes Contemporary Art Contemporary? Or, Other People’s Lives

In this lecture, Peter Osborne revisits some of the arguments in his book Anywhere or Not At All: The Philosophy of Contemporary Art (2013). Mainly, he focuses on contemporary art’s relationship to narrative, in particular in video and film work, by looking at two works by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari. Osborne argues that a possible answer to what makes contemporary art contemporary is the artistic presentation of other people’s lives and how it presents a semantic shift in the concept of the contemporary from lives being in time, to the idea of bringing different lives and hence the time of [...] read more

Suhail Malik: Exit not Escape—On The Necessity of Art’s Exit from Contemporary Art

In this series of lectures at Artists Space, Suhail Malik discusses the predominant polemics on the conditions of contemporary art and its critical uncertainties. The argument is presented around the axioms of contemporary art as a field of activity that not only includes artworks but also common places, idiolects, received ideas, judgments, justifications, social and administrative quasi structures, power operations, and so on. The first talk looks at what Malik calls the anarcho-realist maxim of contemporary art, which posits art as we have it as a shortcoming of what art should be. The second talk looks at what he calls [...] read more