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Announcement
February 9, 2022

Applications open for Master of Fine Arts

Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

[1] Laurie Mlodzik, body/universe traveling/unraveling, 2021. Performance view graduation exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2021. Photo: Christoph Bühler. [2] Davi Kopenawa, Master Symposium, Seeing Into the Heart of Things: Earth and Equality Within Indigenous and Ancestral Knowledges, in collaboration with CULTURESCAPES 2021, Basel. Photo: Christian Knörr. [3] Sergio Rojas Chaves, What does it take to win your love for me?, 2021. Installation view graduation exhibition, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2021. Photo: Christoph Bühler. [4] View of Taloi Havini: Answer to the Call, der TANK, Basel, 2021. Photo: Christian Knörr. 

Damien Juillard, Utopia is a feeling, 2021. Installation view, World’s Rainbow, Graduation Exhibition Bachelor and Master, Institute Art Gender Nature HGK FHNW in Basel, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2021. Photo: Christoph Bühler.

Robert Finn Curry, River, 2021. Installation view World’s Rainbow, Graduation Exhibition Bachelor and Master, Institute Art Gender Nature HGK FHNW in Basel, Kunsthaus Baselland, 2021. Photo: Jonas Huldi.

Master Symposium, Seeing Into the Heart of Things: Earth and Equality Within Indigenous and Ancestral Knowledges, Quinn Latimer, Chus Martínez and Vandria Borari, in collaboration with CULTURESCAPES 2021 AMAZONIA, Basel, 2021. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Master Symposium, Seeing Into the Heart of Things: Earth and Equality Within Indigenous and Ancestral Knowledges, Quinn Latimer, Ashfika Rahman and Chus Martínez, in collaboration with CULTURESCAPES 2021 AMAZONIA, Basel, 2021. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Katharina Kemmerling, Tanker, 2020. Photo: Christian Knörr.

Now is the time of the year when some young artists may consider continuing with their education by applying to a Master of Fine Arts program. It is such an important moment. To decide on an academic program means to decide on the context and content that you are interested in, but also on the nature of the community that you would like to belong to, on the spirit of the feedback you wish to receive, on what you, for your part, want to share with others…

What is in a name? For our part, the Art Institute in Basel has expanded its name during the pandemic. We are now called Institute Art Gender Nature HGK FHNW. The reasoning behind this name-change is manifold, but mostly this: The concepts of gender and nature have become fundamental to understanding and sustaining one’s praxis, to identifying the conditions and the effects of art making on the greatest transformations we are currently undergoing. Our new name does not mean that we are “specialists” on these subjects. It simply means that these concepts are conceived no longer as “subjects” but as fundamental experiences of mutuality. A mutuality with nature, and an experience of gender that surpasses the still very present taxonomies of the past. Our intention, then, is to collectively create a master’s program that enables practices capable of conceiving—in their forms, material thinking, presentation, and aspirations—a world of equity and equality, that explore how artists and their work and thinking might be most relevant to and reflective of a common good.

To that end, science and technology are fundamental to our program. We are living in unprecedented times. In the past, given epidemic and illness, science was widely figured to provide the cure. Now, on the contrary, many reject this logic of cause and effect. This reveals a wide mistrust in what was once called the social contract, and that certain ideas of implementing processes and disseminating information do not work. I interpret this polarization as the proof that we need art, that we need artists to create experiences that implement our understanding of the real and of the shared quality of life that we might expect and desire.

To mark the tenth anniversary of 2012’s dOCUMENTA (13), in 2022, the Institute Art Gender Nature has appointed Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (artistic director of that iteration of documenta), current Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, as Honorary Guest Professor for our program. Further, our Institute features Roman Kurzmeyer and Mathilde Rosier as the magnificent moderators of our Plenum, the collective dimension and discussion of our students’ practices; Quinn Latimer as the Head of our master’s program and co-host with me (Chus Martínez) of our master symposiums held every Autumn and Spring; Filipa Ramos as our lead lecturer on Nature in Co-evolution; Birgit Kempker as our expert in vernacular knowledges and exercises in consciousness; Renée Levi as our lead teacher in image-making and painting, and Yvonne Volkart as Head of Research. Our program pays great attention to mentoring as well. Many different practitioners are available for regular meetings and exchange. Apart from those already mentioned, I might name Katrin Freisager, Philipp Gasser, Elise Lammer, Claudia Müller, Alexandra Navratil, Ingo Niermann, Nadja Solari, Lena Maria Thüring, Jeronimo Voss, Hannah Weinberger, Sophie Jung, Samuel Leuenberger, Basim Magdy, and others…

The Institute Art Gender Nature also regularly hosts many inspiring guest artists, thinkers, poets, scientists, filmmakers, and curators; three ongoing podcast series specially conceived to enhance conversations with our students and the larger public; edited readers by our lecturers and professors on issues of ecology and the nonhuman, the technology of gender and literature, and motherhood and economy; as well as other materials for study… But we also feature something that I find unique and amazing, that is, the technical team that takes care of the incredible workshops we have on our campus and at the Institute. Making art requires care and method and technical skill, knowledge of myriad materials, understanding of the possibilities and limits of form, and responsibility toward the waste and possible damage that we incur in the process. The extensive technical training that we provide, and the hours of making fundamental to developing your practice, define the very language of our Institute. But perhaps best of all we might offer are your future peers and classmates, the community of students that are the reason why we all do what we do and from whom we learn so much. Conviviality and friendship and the sharing of life, artistic and otherwise, are very the joy of living, and we deeply cheer both at our program.

The application deadline is March 15, 2022, with the MA program beginning in September 2022. More information about our Master of Fine Art's program and the admission process can be found online.

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

Chus Martínez, Head of the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK FHNW

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