The event Workshop Gerrit Rietveld Academie took place on 27 May 2015, 11:00 – 17:00.
Workshop “Do I Need Gloves For This?!”
During this workshop the students together with a selection of Rotterdam based artists & art professionals, will discuss issues brought up by the works show in the exhibition Do I Need Gloves For This?! The focus of the day will be informed by the different thematics the group has been working with this past semester namely; artistic research, process and practice methodologies and thinking through making.
Teacher Edward Clydesdale Thomson explains:
“With my third year class this year at the Rietveld we have been focusing on practice methodologies. My intention with this is twofold, firstly that in the run up to their final year they can begin to understand their working not as separate instances in response to external requirements, assignments and so forth: and begin to form a ‘practice’. And secondly to challenge them to be more open and experimental in their approach and understanding of what could constitute a photographic practice or discourse today; being more aware of its situation in a contemporary art discourse and of the materiality of the photographic.
In the first semester we focused on artistic ‘research’ both practically in that the students were asked to focus on one subject and follow a sustained look into that subject. And theoretically through discussion about the term ‘artistic research’ and its contemporary usage and relevance.
In the second semester we have focused on materiality and the knowledge gained though doing/making. Thinking through making so to say. They were asked to choose a workshop, material or technique in the Rietveld, preferably which they had not worked with before and begin experimenting with this material with the express requirement that they keep hold of, remember and reflect on what changes, ideas or concepts began to emerge as they were working. These reflections they would then use in continuing to work with this material in a sort of evolutionary way. The intention is that rather than starting to work from an idea or a preformed vision of what work they are going to make, that the process of working with their material or subject informs what it will become. And hopefully this is something more complex and deep and unexpected that what they might otherwise have produced.
An important part of the third year at the Photography department has, while I have been teaching there, been making an exhibition/presentation at the end of the second semester. It’s a moment in their year where they can take a step back and reflect on what they have been doing this year. It provides a point where they step outside their small group of peers and have to justify their work to a larger unknown audience and see if their practice stands up in that context. It is a deliberately confusing and difficult year for them, where they are asked challenge what they think they know, how they instinctively start to work and what they think photography is. The exhibition allows them to take the working method, ideas and research material they have been developing and put it into a solid form which they can then reflect on. […] “
– abstract from Edward’s email to his colleagues