Related
Announcement
February 24, 2021

School Watch: Ghost in the Machine: Ane Hjort Guttu, Sveinung R. Unneland, Katrine Østergaard, and Mathijs van Geest in conversation

Art & Education

Ane Hjort Guttu, Manifesto (still), 2021. Film, 27 minutes. Photo: Patrick Säfström.

Ane Hjort Guttu, Manifesto (still), 2021. Film, 27 minutes. Photo: Patrick Säfström.

Ane Hjort Guttu, Manifesto (still), 2021. Film, 27 minutes. Photo: Patrick Säfström.

View of Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, Ghost in the Machine, Hordaland Art Centre, 2021. Courtesy Hordaland Art Centre.

View of Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, Ghost in the Machine, Hordaland Art Centre, 2021. Courtesy Hordaland Art Centre.

View of Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, Ghost in the Machine, Hordaland Art Centre, 2021. Courtesy Hordaland Art Centre.

View of Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, Ghost in the Machine, Hordaland Art Centre, 2021. Courtesy Hordaland Art Centre.

Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, Ghost in the Machine, Hordaland Art Centre, 2021. Courtesy Hordaland Art Centre.

Ane Hjort Guttu, Manifesto (still), 2021. Film, 27 minutes. Photo: Patrick Säfström.

Ghost in the Machine: Ane Hjort Guttu, Sveinung R. Unneland, Katrine Østergaard, and Mathijs van Geest in conversation
Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway, recently hosted Ghost in the Machine by Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland, an exhibition consisting of Guttu’s new film Manifesto projected on a freestanding white wall. Walking around the wall, visitors discovered that it contains a fully-equipped kitchen with an oven, hot plates, a fridge, and a sink. Part exhibition architecture, film prop, sculpture, and gathering space for an art department within an art department, the hidden kitchen reveals a covert resistance to the demands of administrated art education. Over the three-week exhibition period, the kitchen hosted an exciting series of events, workshops, and performances with a large group of collaborators.

Ane Hjort Guttu: The film Manifesto is about a school hidden inside another school. An art department of a major university, both students and faculty staff, is so frustrated by the many impositions and requirements decreed from above that they have decided to manage themselves. They act as a subordinated department and appear to follow all the rules but they do everything their own way without asking. They have a secretly elected principal, secret courses, an alternative study program, and a kitchen hidden inside a wall. This last element is necessary because they are no longer allowed to freely cook their own food in the school but must eat in the school café.

Mathijs van Geest: It seems as if Manifesto is full of duplicity: there is a façade, and then the film presents quite a different reality that only some people know about.

Ane: Yes, I’ve been teaching ever since I graduated from the Oslo National Academy of Art in 1998. My relationship to artistic practice has always been two-sided: there is the professional art field that consists of institutions, discourses, a market, and many different, distinct disciplines. But on the other side, art and artistic practices are intellectual and revolutionary activities that deal with fundamental human, social, political, and emotional relationships that transcend these professional categories. I think that many artists who teach relate to very practical and technical matters in their everyday teaching, but the goal is still to connect with something bigger, a kind of Olympic flame that you reach out for and that the students too must learn to reach out for. This ideal is revolutionary, and I suppose we dream that it should transcend both market and institutions.

As a professor, I experience that the educational institution is intended to bring students into the professional field, but this does not reflect the bigger thing we all aspire to. It doesn’t create conditions that make students ask fundamental questions or change the world, even though this is the task of art. I have therefore always walked around with an idea of the other school—a school that is more in line with the higher purpose inherent to any artistic practice.

Read the full text on School Watch.

School Watch presents critical perspectives on art education. Featured profiles and conversations survey programs in fine art, curating, critical theory, and other related disciplines, as well as the ideas and conditions that influence their practice.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.