Interface, students and teachers face to face

Interface, students and teachers face to face

Tomislav Brajnović / Sre, 11/12/2014 - 23:11

I was recently invited by the Gallery Greta from Zagreb to make a selection of artists and students for the Interface New Media Festival exhibition. Included are works from four students that participated in the mobility Mapping Komiža Narratives 2014 organized through MAP study and ADRIART project. Participating students are Sara Salomon (MAP CM Intermedia), Dajana Jurman Osip, Dominik Grdic and Andreja Jandrecic (APU students). Participating MAP teachers are Ingeborg Fulepp, Nadija Mustapic and Tomislav Brajnovic
The exhibition Interface is open from 8/11/2014  - 14/11/ 2014, ex-Bernardi, Rijeka, Croatia

The idea was to present the recent media production in the region of Rijeka regardless of the student/artist/teacher status. Such kind of choice is always subjective and derives from selector's preference and insight. On this occasion I asked for advice and suggestion colleague artists and teachers at the Academy of Applied Arts University of Rijeka.

This is the second year of the project aiming to become an important media festival in the region. The idea is also that the programme takes place in Zagreb and Rijeka in the same time.

The Festival venue occupies the space of a former shop called ex-Bernardi. It is a huge empty space that the City authorities of Rijeka have designated for art and culture. Media works and video projections are very convienent for such, not fully adequate spaces, needing refurbishment. The darkness needed for projections covers the imperfections of the space and the shining video beam transforms it in a mysterious and spectacular ambience.

The most interesting phenomenon that happens in such a situation where a teacher exhibits together with his student is the dissappearance of hierarchy and distinction. Although both know their formal positions in the school, in the exhibition such distinction dissappears and only the exhibited work stands as a witness of artistic quality and achievement. Personally I am supporting such a direct, colleague to colleague relation between student and teacher even in the school environment. The only differencee between the two (beside the longer experience and practice) is that the teacher is authorised and has the formal position to 'teach' the student and to give him grades. This relation says nothing about the quality of the student or teacher's work and that relation is invisible in a public exhibition and presentation.

It is a challenging situation for the teacher who exposes himself and his work to the public critique putting it in direct relation and comparison with the student work. The public reacts to all works on equal basis erasing all the differencies present in educational circumstances.
This is one of the reasons why traditional Academies discouraged students to exhibit publicly too early and avoided this teacher to student public confrontation.

On the other side for the student it is a fantastic opportunity to be seen as a mature artist exhibiting together with established artists. This exhibition is a great step in their practice as artists and affirmation in the public domain.
On the other hand, it is a risky situation for students as well, because they are in the danger to think they are ready-as-professional-artist too early, not needing further assistance and progress.

In that sense Interface New Media Festival is a precious event teaching all that art is a value, not a title!