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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Contemporary art/contemporary pedagogy : interrupting mastery as paradigm for art school education Fouquet, Monique


Contemporary art/contemporary pedagogy: interrupting mastery as paradigm for art school education is a narrative exploration of artistic and pedagogical practices within the specific context of post-secondary art school education in stand alone art schools as opposed to a university art department. This study considers the following three primary questions: How can art school education better reflect postmodern cultural production? What are some of the ways in which pedagogical practice disrupts the monolithic model of mastery? How can art school pedagogy be re-oriented away from an overly deterministic notion of education? Through reflexive inquiry, I offer a personal perspective on art school education, weaving together my own experiences as student, artist, teacher and administrator, and juxtaposing 'my' text against the text of three artist pedagogues, representing specific aspects of field experience. Throughout the dissertation I seek to unearth the hidden assumptions that are embedded in historically inherited ways of being and doing in relation to contemporary art. I suggest that the partitioning of the institutional space into studio disciplines also segregates knowledge, and as such, largely determines the pedagogical framework of art schools. In the face of the interdisciplinary character of contemporary practice, I question the usefulness and relevance of disciplinary pedagogues modeled around the notion of achieving mastery as a paradigm that has shaped curricular practices in art schools in the past, and largely continues to define art school education today. I propose that the three artist pedagogues in this dissertation are each contributing to creating new inquiry structures that challenge boundaries between studio disciplines, between school and not-school, and between and among places of learning. I end by suggesting, as a topic for further research, complexity science as it may offer a productive framework to re-consider art school education.

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