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Announcement
January 27, 2021

Applications open for Master of Fine Arts

Art Institute, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

(1) Isabel Lewis and Sonia Fernández Pan, Womxn in Motion symposium, 2020. Photo: Jennifer Merlyn Scherler. (2) Manuel Queiró, Wall, Wall, Well, Well, 2020. Installation view Life, Love, Justice, Graduation Exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland. Photo: Christian Knörr. (3) Alessandro Schiattarella, Permeabile, 2020. Performance, Life, Love, Justice, Graduation Exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland. Photo: Christoph Bühler. (4) Tiphanie Kim Mall, Mia Sanchez, Valentina Stieger, Our Common Space, 2020, der TANK, Basel. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Sonia Fernández Pan, Lynne Kouassi, Isabel Lewis, Sadie Plant, Quinn Latimer, Chus Martínez, Womxn in Motion symposium, 2020. Photo: Jennifer Merlyn Scherler.

Isabel Lewis, Womxn in Motion symposium, 2020. Photo: Jennifer Merlyn Scherler.

Kelly Tissot, Hurdle and locket, 2020. Installation view Life, Love, Justice, Graduation Exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Life, Love, Justice, Graduation Exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2020. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Master seminar Parlament der Pflanzen, excursion including a Silent Walk. Photo: Diogo Pinto.

View of Tiphanie Kim Mall, Mia Sanchez, Valentina Stieger, Our Common Space, der TANK, Basel, 2020. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Campus of the Arts. Photo: Hans-Peter Huser.

Summer School #2 Phenomenal Ocean, in collaboration with TBA21–Academy, Ocean Space, Venice, 2019. Photo: Enrico Fiorese

Studying with us as a way of making sense of the situation.

It may sound paradoxical to say that now is a good time to study. The beginning of the 2021 academic year will hopefully coincide with the beginning of the end of the health emergency caused by Covid-19, but many questions and challenges will also emerge at this point. There are so many aspects of our art world that we need to collectively address: the urgent need to end monocultural institutional practices, the necessity of finding bonds and alliances to secure artistic production, the importance of investigating the future of care technologies and how services in the social sector could be developed in partnership with artists, the emergence of a non-binary world and its impact on organizations, wealth, the art market and its futures … Those enrolling in a program in the near future should have the opportunity to debate these questions together, as well as the ambition to come up with future scenarios that safeguard the pivotal role played by art and artists in our societies.

Now more than ever, we need to declare that taking care of the communities we form at Art Acadmies is fundamental. Looking after people is just as important as performing ideas and works. Creating a form of trust between young artists to guide them as well as helping them to face challenges with the support of other artists and professionals seems to be the best way to understand and face the transformations that lie ahead of us. Love, care, and comprehension are the essential ingredients of a curriculum that motivates artists to stay artists while creating the conditions for them to develop their work and the tools for them to anchor their practices in society.

Equality and the rights of nature are at the core of the master’s program at the Art Institute, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. These are not subjects or topics of study, but the values, ideals, and discourses that define our seminars, international symposia, exhibitions, and online artistic projects, such as the podcast series Promise No Promises! and Phenomenal Ocean, as well as the digital platform Corona Kino. The future of many artistic practices and their relevance in society depends on learning to experience the world collectively with plants, animals, and every aspect of life on earth. As this is a matter of experience it is also a matter of art. For centuries, art and artists have been dedicated to this revolution of the senses, to thinking alongside life and matter. Our master’s program is focused on the development of every artist, while also creating a context in which the problems of advanced capitalism and the use of technology are considered in relation to justice and our bond with nature.

The core team of our master’s program is formed by Birgit Kempker, Roman Kurzmeyer, Renée Levi, Mathilde Rosier, Filipa Ramos, Chus Martínez, and Quinn Latimer. However, mentoring and support are also available to students from our visiting guests, technical staff, research assistants, and some of the team from the bachelor’s program. Mentoring and technical support are very important elements of the program. Students can enjoy amazing workshops and technical facilities at both the Art Institute and the Campus of the Arts. We foster a love of combining reflective practices and encourage students not to be afraid of trying different ways of doing things, learning skills with digital and analog machines, or approaching the experts we are fortunate to have in our team.

The master’s program accepts around twenty students per year, and the Art Institute has around one hundred students in total. As a result, the program is defined by our belief in the importance of kinship as well as supporting each other, even once your studies are complete. During the two-year international studies we expect you to make use of all our workshops, attend the many different seminars organized by our staff and guests, participate in the Plenum, a platform to collectively discuss your work, choose different mentors to support you, and engage with the projects, international partnerships, summer schools, and exhibitions we organize outside the institute, such as Life, Love, Justice, the 2020 graduation exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland. Our main goal is to contribute to your development as artists; yours is to join the collective effort to develop a cognitive ease when making and thinking about art.

Studying in Basel may sound a little out of the ordinary, yet the city offers an unprecedented opportunity to gain fundamental knowledge about today’s art systems. Basel’s relevancy to contemporary art facilitates both an insight into the works of the many artists who are active around us and relationships with neighboring art institutions, non-profit spaces, and curators. The Art Institute and its exhibition space der TANK are located on the Campus of the Arts, a hub for creativity and artistic practices. This proximity to other art institutions and our outstanding workshops make the Art Institute a very special place for art production. As a public institution, our fees are correspondingly low. Though the costs of living in Switzerland are high, there are many economically feasible options in Basel and this year we will make a particular effort to support those candidates accepted.

The application deadline is March 15, 2021, with the program starting in September 2021. More information about the Master of Fine Art's program and the admission process can be found online.

Get in touch: info.kunst.hgk [​at​] fhnw.ch / T +41 61 228 40 77

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