Reflecting on Learning Processes

The Museumsakademie at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg and the work of Andrea Fraser

Reflection on our learning processes

Fraser’s work provided a very stimulating red thread through our class and inspired students’ own experimental projects. Fraser’s work is ideal for bridging the difficult gap that often looms between theory and practice, science and art. But we also found the experience quite challenging: First of all, a three-hour class did not provide enough time for a full-fledged creative process. Furthermore, it was very difficult for our students to bring together theory, artistic work, and practical experiments. Finally, the concept of critique proved difficult. For the students, what is meant by cultural and social critique was not at all self-evident.

All in all, we found the class a very rewarding but at times also unsettling experience; focusing on Fraser’s work allowed us to raise various issues that are extremely relevant to our field, contemporary arts and cultural production. For example, we discussed “What exactly is the relationship between contemporary art and cultural production?” “How can we distinguish between them without recreating exclusivity?”  and, “Isn’t the insistence on a critical stance per se, and by definition, an elitist endeavor?”

It has become clear to us how precise Fraser’s work points to ruptures in the social and cultural fabric. Her art often prompts a feeling of discomfort and it seems that precisely this dis-ease is what allows us to think not only about the difficult relationship between the museum and institutional critique, but also about stores of self-evident knowledge and art’s interventionist potential.

star

Alberro, Alexander (ed.) (2005):  Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser, Cambridge/London. MIT Press; Cambridge/London. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/museum-highlights

star

Bourdieu, Pierre (1984): Distinction. A social critique of the judgment of taste. Routledge.

star

Bourdieu, Pierre (2005): Foreword. In: Alberro, Alexander Alberro (ed.): Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser, xiv–xv.

star

Dertnig, Carola/Seibold, Stephanie (eds.) (2006):  Let‘s Twist Again. If you Can’t Think It, Dance It. Performance in Vienna from 1960 until today. A psycheographic map, D.E.A. Gumpoldskirchen: Buch- und Kunstverlag.

star

Fraser, Andrea (1997): What’s Intangible, Transitory, Mediating, Participatory, and Rendered in the Public Sphere? In: October, vol. 80, Spring 1997, 111–116.

star

Fraser, Andrea (2005): It’s Art When I Say It’s Art, or…  In: Alberro, Alexander Alberro (ed.): Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser, 37–44.

star

Kastner, Jens (2009): Die ästhetische Disposition. Eine Einführung in die Kunsttheorie Pierre Bourdieus. Vienna: Turia+ Kant.

star

Museum der Moderne website. Andrea Fraser. http://www.museumdermoderne.at/en/exhibitions/current/details/mdm/andrea-fraser/.

Elke Zobl, Elisabeth Klaus (2015): Reflecting on Learning Processes. The Museumsakademie at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg and the work of Andrea Fraser. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten #06 , https://www.p-art-icipate.net/reflecting-on-learning-processes/