Friday 3 December 2021 – Saturday 19 February 2022: Preview 3 December book on Eventbrite.

An exhibition and event project navigates experiments in art education and alternative pedagogical initiatives from the early 20th Century to the present.

Declaring that our collective future is determined not by what we know, but by how we create and share knowledge, Sit-in #2: To Be Potential activates how artistic practice as pedagogy dares education, in the words of bell hooks, to be ‘the practice of freedom’.

Political in origin, radical in intent and emancipatory by nature, this radical pedagogy is an inherently social practice. Subverting hierarchies between ‘those who think they know’ and ‘those who assume they don’t’, artistic practice as pedagogy is a global phenomenon that recognises no conceptual, discursive or intellectual limits. Characterised by an ethics of equal access and an ethos of generous solidarity, together the radical pedagogical practices featured in Sit-in #2: To Be Potential transform knowledge from a capitalist commodity to an emancipatory power available to all.

 Class meeting vol 1 Gudskul short course 2019. Photo: Jin Panji / Gudskul. Image courtesy of Gudskul.

Juxtaposing significant and un(der) explored case studies from the Global North and the Global South, Sit-in #2: To Be Potential rethinks and unsettles the conventions, hierarchies and economies of access that haunt the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Placing emphasis on knowledge as a collective experience and communal act, Sit-in #2: To Be Potential will occupy and extend the social and political implications of radical pedagogies from the early 20th century to the present; including the Bauhaus, the Basic Course in Newcastle, Anti-university LondonCopenhagen Free Universitythe Environmental Art course at Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh Arts Summer SchoolFree University New YorkGUDSKUL in Jakarta, The Hedgeschoolproject in Ireland, the Hornsey Sit-in of 1968The White Room in Reading Womanifesto in Thailand, and The Rooftop Institute in Hong Kong, amongst many others.

 Creative adaptability workshop conducted by Tom Hudson at Edinburgh Arts 1972. Image courtesy of the Demarco Archive Trust and Demarco Digital Archive, DJCAD, University of Dundee

A public event series, titled Sit-in Curriculum #2, will situate the archival material and artworks as critical stimuli and generative points of departure, acting as an open space for collaborative and revolutionised learning facilitated by artists, activists, designers, educators, performers, and writers. Indexed by Stuart Hall’s theorisation of the ‘politics of articulation’ in which culture is not fixed but always subject to negotiation and struggle, Sit-in Curriculum #2 will challenge hegemonical narratives and celebrate grassroots knowledge. Sit-in Curriculum #2 will culminate in an international symposium; 12 Hour Sit-in Revel.

To embed an ethos of distributed agency at the heart of The Ignorant Art School, artist Jade Montserrat is commissioned to take on the role of Associate Occupier. Devised to be part agitator, part raconteur the Associate Occupier will respond, reflect and contribute to the Sit-in exhibition and Curriculum, actively developing and testing a Blueprint for The Ignorant Art School.

 Image credit: Environmental Art GSA video workshop. 1986. Image courtesy of Alan Dunn

Rooted in the discursive network of Sit-in #2: To Be Potential is feminist critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s evocation of unlearning – ‘a stream of learning of how to unlearn and what to unlearn’, which positions knowledge creation as a state of pure potential, a vigilant readiness on the cusp of the new, the radical and the revolutionary. And it is this, the potential of artistic practice as pedagogy to intervene and problematise political and social conditions that The Ignorant Art School invites you to explore in all its creative and radical possibilities.

Read more on the website.

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