Common Knowledge and Learning Curves at Artspace
THURS 28 JUN, 6–8PM
- When 29 Jun - 12 Aug 2018
43 - 51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
MON–FRI, 11AM–5PM, SAT–SUN, 11AM–6PM
+61 2 9356 0555
Artspace’s upcoming exhibition, titled Common Knowledge and Learning Curves, is the first Australian institutional solo exhibition by UNSW alumna Keg de Souza, and stems from the artist’s ongoing interest in the ways we teach and learn.
This critical project seeks to break down hierarchies in typical knowledge exchange, exploring radical pedagogy and its tenets including democratic dialogue, lived experience, inquiry learning, solidarity and unlearning. With a particular focus on the ways in which space informs teaching and learning, de Souza utilises the familiar aesthetics of a classroom in unexpected ways. Props such as chalkboards, uniforms, award ribbons and venetian blinds are deconstructed and employed as architecture to divide the gallery into temporary spaces of varying materiality and functionality.
In the spirit of play and experimentation, visitors and participants in the project are invited to use these architectural and sculptural forms. The exhibition becomes a space where ideas and actions can emerge through critical and collective interaction.
Included in the Artspace exhibition are outsized building blocks – a ubiquitous tool designed by the founder of kindergarten Friedrich Fröbel – which here become modular units that can be stacked and reconfigured to suit different activities and also double as seating. This dynamism offers possibilities for visitors to contribute to an ever-changing learning environment for both intimate and group conversations. Another key feature of Common Knowledge and Learning Curves is an experimental library that wraps around the gallery walls with a selection of books and readings that prioritise marginalised voices within education.
Not simply a static exhibition, De Souza’s temporary architecture is also a playful, mutable environment to host a series of public conversations and events throughout the duration of the exhibition. These events offer an opportunity for deep thinking about pedagogy and the relationship between place and the learning process. Various community members and organisations – including Bigambul Elder Uncle Wes Marne and students from the nearby Plunkett Street Primary School – have been invited to lead discussions, host tours and share knowledge as part of the exhibition acknowledging lived experience as a highly valued resource.
These temporary spaces within the exhibition are also open for use by educators, collectives or students to occupy for conversation, classes or self-directed reading groups.
Keg de Souza is a critically acclaimed Australian interdisciplinary artist. Informed by her architectural training and experience of radical spaces through squatting and organising, her practice explores spatial politics and the built environment. She works across mediums such as temporary architecture, video, drawing, mapping, performance and artists books to develop collaborative and participatory experiences that explore the politics of space. De Souza often creates site- and situation-specific projects, emphasising reciprocity and knowledge exchange.
Keg de Souza’s work has featured in numerous major recurrent exhibitions and leading institutions such as: The National: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW, 2017; 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016; Setouchi Triennale, 2016; Appetite for Construction, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2016; Temporary Spaces, Edible Places: Vancouver and Preservation, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver & AC Institute, New York, 2015; Temporality in Architecture, Food and Communities, Delfina Foundation, London, 2014; Temporary Spaces, Edible Places, Atlas Arts, Isle of Skye, 2014; If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood…, Ratmakan Kampung, Yogyakarta, 2014; 5th Auckland Triennial, 2013; Vertical Villages, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney; 15th Jakarta Biennale, 2013.