Independent Studies Programme (PEI) 2006-2007
With the participation of Xavier Antich, Manuel Asensi, Enric Berenguer, Miren Etxezarreta, Marcelo Expósito, Beatriz Preciado, Carlos Prieto and Joan Roca, among others.
MACBA's Program for Independent Studies (PEI) stems from a will to understand Art, the body, and educative work as precise methods of social intervention. Taking into account that capitalist society has converted Art into an innocuous and "aesthetic" method, one of the fundamental objectives that we pursue with this program is to re-polarize Art and its surroundings, as well as propose the revision and criticism of pedagogy understood in the wider sense, that is, as a practice of relating and mediating the Museum and the heterogeneity of the public.
The PEI is a proposal for an independent program of institutional teaching. In fact, it is the result of political criticism of "institutional teaching." Precisely because of that, and in hopes that its independence does not fall outside of academia, the program adopts an unorthodox teaching format, as another of its objectives is to avoid the mechanisms that weigh down research and reflection within the field of academic studies. In that way, this independence in relation to "official teaching" supposes a revision of teaching methods, communication, and the transmission and relationship between groups that will integrate the various components of the program. The PEI constitutes an open and generative structure. The subjects and classes are designed to produce a set of activities through which participants can tackle the contents from different levels using discursive practices and structures.
The objective of the PEI is to formulate and develop critical and analytical skills in participants that will help them to understand the artistic phenomenon based on the concept of "art" as a product of the meeting of different systems and social fields. Basing ourselves on past experiences of workshops, classes, and seminars that the MACBA has developed in past years, we present a two-year long program composed of six subjects, approximately 400 hours total, divided between theoretical and practical classes and seminars.
Theory and criticism of discourse: this is the backbone of the programme insofar as it takes art as an object of specific reflection from the different methodologies, metalanguages and tools which history has constructed to approach the artistic process. It also postulates the need for an analysis of the artistic phenomenon, taking into account the interaction between different social systems and fields.
Political economy: insofar as art emerges in a particular economic context, insofar as the museum operates within the structure of supply and demand and is obliged to negotiate with other institutions, it becomes necessary to introduce the basic notions of an economy that governs the circulation of the work of art from production to consumption in a capitalist context.
Gender technologies: art and the different discourses do not spring from an ahistorical spirit, but from bodies that are marked sexually and anchored in a system of rules. We shall analyse how that marking of the subject relates to artistic production, with its mediation and reception and study the possibility of a modelling of the body that would mean greater freedom for the individual and the producer of texts.
Criticism of therapies: for many centuries the idea of the possible anomalous nature of the artist's psychology has been maintained and has led us to see in art an expression of a possible disorder. In the social field it is reflected in a series of therapies that try to adapt the individual to the social system by which he feels rejected. This subject sets out to offer an alternative model to that adaptation therapy and therefore an alternative model to a conception of art as anomaly.
Political imagination: as art is not foreign to what is popularly known as "artistic policy", which depends on a more general policy, a reflection on the phenomenon of art cannot overlook what we might call its link to the politics of the social system in which it has been engendered. In a democracy art not only does not have (or should not have) a servile position with regard to the dominant ideologies, it puts itself forward as a way out for alternative policies which are critical of any signs of repressive and strongly antidemocratic factors.
History and city: art and its mediation through the museum take place in a particular urban space, in this case the city of Barcelona. The aim of this subject is to think about the models of urban and social stratification and the kind of consequences they have for the way of perceiving works of art and their genesis.
Each subject has four levels:
1. Theory, exhibition, readings and discussion of the conceptual plane through which the participant can acquire a basis for his understanding of the artistic phenomenon constitute the first level.
2. The second level is essentially practical. Participants will have the possibility to elaborate their own critiques and discourse within the framework of a workshop.
3. The third level consists of periodic sessions in which theorists from each of the fields dealt with in the program so that participants come into contact with their work and proposals. a .n de que los participantes entren en contacto con su trabajo y sus propuestas.
4. The fourth level consists of activities that put the participants, the PEI and the MACBA in contact with determined social movements within the city.
Each academic year is divided into three periods of study: October-November, January-March, and April-June.
The theory and criticism of discourse. 5 units 170 hrs
Political Economy 2 units 54 hrs
Technologies of gender 2 units 60 hrs
Criticism of therapies 2 units 24 hrs
Political imagination 2 units 69 hrs
History and city 2 units 54 hrs
TOTAL 431 hrs
The subject of "The theory and criticism of discourse" is present throughout the stwo years of PEI; the five remaining subjects are developed with different rhythms and intensities throughout the program's duration. We have been careful not to make the reading assignments longer than nine hours per week and most of the didactic sessions will take place on Thursday and Friday afternoons (except for specially scheduled seminars and intensive workshops).
Begins: January 2006
The MACBA will issue a diploma to participants.
The PEI offers the possibility of auditing the program's different subjects. Space is limited and enrollment is on a first come, first serve basis. Auditors will not earn academic credit.
Manuel Asensi, professor in the Philology Department at the University of Valencia and in universities throughout the United Status.
Xavier Antich, Aesthetics professor in the Art History Department and co-director of the Master´s degree in Communication and Art Criticism at the University of Girona.
Enric Berenguer, head of teaching at the Freudian Institute of Barcelona.
Marcelo Expósito, artist and co-editor of Brumaria magazine (http://www.brumaria.net)and member of Transversal editorial collective (http://transform.eipcp.net).
Beatriz Preciado, profesor of History and Theory of the Body and of Contemporary Theories of Gender at the University of Saint-Denis, Paris.
Carlos Prieto, PhD in Philosophy and director of the collection "Questions of Antagonism," published by Akal (1999-2005); editor of the Spanish edition of "New Left Review."
Joan Roca, professor at the Besòs neighborhood High School and collaborating professor in the Seminar on the History of Barcelona at the Cultural Institute of Barcelona.
Miren Etxezarreta, PhD in Applied Economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.