Art has long served as a platform upon which societal questions have been discussed, problematized, twisted and turned. Art has seldom, perhaps never, been limited to what is visible. Rather, art has altered our preconceived notions about the meaning of the visual. In art, material is borrowed and reworked and presented anew and in new contexts. These loans and quotes point to another important issue for art: no significance is stable, no meaning everlasting. The meaning of a work of art is not universally given, nor is "true" meaning inherent in the work itself. Meaning is something that is produced by the artists and the public, together.
For this reason art is also an arena in which to confront the idea of knowledge as something, neutral and homogeneous. And each time a work of art so confronts, conflicts are exposed. We should not recoil from this confrontation. On the contrary, the exposure of conflicts is critical to freedom of expression and the vitality of the public democratic arena.
In order for a society to develop it must be subject to critical scrutiny and questioning. That is why art education should recognize the variety of experiences and the histories of its students, and support students in their efforts to develop these and relate them to a wider audience. The recent turbulence around Konstfack and the role of art education has demonstrated the possibilities for art to contribute to the public exposing of conflicts and power structures.
Studio discussion is our fundamental form of education at the Fine Art Department. The studio discussion is a situation based upon trust, reciprocity and respect. Students are given the opportunity to present and discuss the various phases of their work. This form of education is intended primarily to elucidate all aspects of an artistic activity, and attempts to regard it as openly and from as many perspectives as possible. The purpose is not to approve or reject a project, but rather to provide a nuanced picture of the possible significance of the chosen path and to facilitate the artistic potential of the various projects.
It is here, in each individual choice of a field of work that the distinctive qualities and strengths of our students emerge. This year's students work with projects that are rooted in their personal experiences and histories. These are the specific stories that are presented in this year's exhibition.
Andrea Creutz, Senior Lecturer of Fine Art with emphasis on three-dimensional Art
Thomas Elovsson, Lecturer of Fine Art with emphasis on Painting