WHY SHOULD WE EDUCATE IN ART AND CULTURE?

Even today, finishing the second decade of the 21st century, the need to educate in art and culture is still an open topic of debate. It is commonly thought that the culture, to whose creation we all contribute, arises by spontaneous generation and does not need maintenance or attention. But on the contrary, culture as a social phenomenon, and art, as one of its particular tangible manifestations, requires the contribution of all. It only takes true meaning when there is a conscious exchange between the historical and identity legacy that culture transmits and the new uses and meanings of value that modern societies attribute to it. Well understood, culture does not need many resources to develop, since, as a social phenomenon, it will emerge and grow wherever there are individuals. But what it is necessary to do is "educate" in the importance and value that culture has per se, because without this educational work there is a destruction of the past, a depreciation of the heritage created over centuries and a loss of the close referents which give meaning to our contemporary society.

Image from Educathyssen

Far from what one might think, educating in art and culture is much more than learning history and artistic techniques. Art is an expression that emerges in a specific context, and, as such, transmits a large part of the elements that determine the culture of that particular time and place. It would be difficult to think that the Renaissance creators reflected in their works the concern for climate change, as they now do, or that the new authors capture with the same zeal religious scenes that were the favourite leitmotiv of the painting of yore. For this reason, to accommodate art and culture in the classroom is to channel a collective knowledge developed over the centuries that constitutes the best vestiges of our identity as individuals belonging to a particular context.

Unesco has pointed out that the mastery of culture and the arts is fundamental for the development of people. For this same reason, it encourages designing educational programs that incorporate these branches of knowledge. The benefits are diverse: education in art fosters alternative thinking and the search for creative solutions to problems, favours qualities such as tolerance and sensitivity, helps diversity to be appreciated and to open an intercultural dialogue, as well as developing other intellectual and creative abilities of the individual.

«Each child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we have grown up»

Pablo Picasso

Why is art still seen as something reserved for a few? In the same way that other disciplines equally necessary for development, such as sports activities, associated with collaborative values ​​and psychomotricity, art and culture, require the same attention. In recent years, several voices have highlighted the benefits associated with training in art from early ages. More than a matter of convenience, it is, in reality, an essential content for the development that will go along the individual in different stages of life. Concepts so demanded in the modern business world as creativity, imagination or innovation, are based on stimuli taught from childhood. Nowadays, intelligence and the use of qualities are not limited exclusively to being proficient with language and mathematics. The promotion of alternative thinking and the solution of ingenious problems, with their well-known applications in the world of entrepreneurship, are intimately associated with art training.

Image from educathyssen

Several studies suggest a change of approach when incorporating arts into education. The benefits are innumerable and alter the preconceived and inherited schemes even today on the permanent search for accuracy in the results, typical of subjects such as mathematics. The unpredictable essence of artistic creation helps to develop critical thinking and generate alternative ways of reasoning. The ideas of right and wrong are blurred, and there is room for means of expression that favour new structures of logical discourse. There is no single form of intelligence, and it is clear that the integration of art and culture in the learning process is necessary. Hopefully, this gradual awareness will translate into the incorporation of new tools and educational resources from childhood. It is only possible to love and understand what is known.

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.