Artists at Schools 2014

Winners of the Open Call

The Artists at Schools programt, which was launched in 2012 as a pilot project, has shown that, as a result of the changes affecting the Hungarian education system, there is a great need for programs that interpret the concept, and develop the practice, of democracy, as well as allow free space for creativity. In this way, continued the project in 2013 and 2014 and announced an open call. The objective of Artists at Schools is to raise and deploy the concept of democracy and its principles of operation within art-critical pedagogical practices, with the concurrent use of the potentials of art and critical pedagogy.

This year, of the 21 submitted applications, the jury—composed of Judit Angel, director of; Gabriella Csoszó, photographer, activist and one of the winners of the 2013 call; Dóra Hegyi, curator and director of—awarded two project proposals in which contemporary art was understood as a mode of critical thinking, as well as a medium that facilitates democratic practice and creativity.

Winners of Artists at Schools 2014 Program:

Miklós Mécs – Correction Class

“The ‘artist’ moves into one of the classrooms—or a small room or utility shed—of the school. He sleeps and wakes there, performs all the unavoidable tasks of everyday life. During my time spent working in kindergartens, and conducting children’s activities at the GYIK Art Studio for Children and Youth and at the Studio of Young Artists’ Association, it became clear to me that my efforts at educating can only be successful if I behave as an initiating and active partner. So, I start puttering around, doing something that interests me, which may rouse the interest of those around me. If someone wants to, they can participate and help shape the activity. Not only getting from (a thousand) one to (a thousand) two can be a commendable achievement: getting from (a hundred and) two to (a hundred and) one can be just as impressive.” (Miklós Mécs)

Advanced College of Art and Art Theory – Advanced Architecture College – Visual Culture and Environmental Design Working Group

The objective of the working group’s project is to examine visual culture and environmental design education in secondary schools.
Lifelike scenarios and approaching everyday situations from different perspectives have been primary considerations in selecting the topics. During work sessions, topic supervisors seek to employ environment-shaping exercises in educational situations in order to search, together with the students, for alternative approaches, solutions and formats of collaboration.

The project examines three main topics:
1. Public monuments, which—in contrast to everyday experience—can be altered.
2. Spaces of the school: structures related to the school building and environment are examined, after which an attempt is made, together with students, to loosen them. Answers are sought to the following questions: “What bothers me about the architectural construction of my school / schoolroom? How could I make it better/ more likable / livable?” A further objective is to make students conscious of the fact that the environment that surrounds them is not a natural given, but a constructed space, the shaping of which they, too, can participate in. By the same token, they are also encouraged towards critical thinking, and helped in carrying out a democratic decision making process in order to change what is not good for them.
3. The diversity of cities, the distinct features of urban structures, and the connections between city quarters of various character are explored. During discussions, participants have an opportunity to reflect on social problems that are closely linked with urban living. A subjective atlas is planned to be made, which is continuously expanded during the sessions. The thus created collaborative work includes the school and its environment (what is there? what could be there?), as well as the paths students take, places and locations which are important to them, about which they have positive or negative feelings.

Image: Non-Private Theatre