Theory at Rietveld Fine Arts

image, materiality, mimesis, mimicry, invisibility, potentiality, death, medium, historical object, trash, fragment, document, evidence, temporality, image-montage, authorship, performativity, gift economy, entropy, boredom, refusal of work, post-critical, antagonism, iconoclasm, spectacle, appropriation, drifting, archive, apparatus, display, historicity, violence, death

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Theory course and thesis supervision

The theory course focuses on introducing a network concepts and texts that chart out the broader discursive context around fine art as a practice: art theory and history, philosophy, aesthetics, anthropology, visual studies, media theory, literary texts and fragments. The selection of texts is tailored to the interests of the students and varies every year. The course is designed to help the students to develop conceptual tools and strategies, skills to formulate productive questions, and to build an awareness of the broader context of their creative practices.

Next to my theory course, I supervise the written thesis, which the students have to complete during the final year of their studies. Research and writing are complex processes, which need time and context to unfold. I have extensive individual tutorials and advise the students on how to develop research direction, and later gradually shape own their own voice and position in a variety of modes of writing. It is vitally important that the thesis and its research focus are derived and closely linked to their creative practices.

Instead of producing result that claims the certainties of definitions, artistic thinking takes place as an action-thought that questions the distinction between the processes of research, making, and the artwork or a text as their outcome. The experience of reading and writing is understood as equally a process of thinking and a creative process. We approach theory creatively, in a sense anarchically, and learn how to appropriate complex theoretical fragments in order to create conceptual tools for one’s own practice. We develop our intellectual curiosity and desire to discus, hear, view, read, experience, and look further.