MA-Symposium 2019

École de design et Haute école d'art du Valais / EDHEA

School without end?

A Master symposium proposal by MAPS – Master of Arts in Public Spheres
Sierre, Wednesday 27 March, 2019

The édhéa MAPS Symposium is an attempt to negotiate education and the creation of knowledge based on our experiences in the art field, inside and outside of a variety of institutions. We are going to use the day to experiment with ways of learning (and un/delearning) and reflect upon the various shades of in_visibilities that arise during this process. What are the forms and formats or ways of working and learning we are currently questioning and what are the things we really would like to challenge or change? 

Structured in different working/thinking/walking groups, the symposium is a platform in which the participants of the different schools and orientations can meet and discuss. Particular sites in and around Château Mercier – such as a former swimming pool (and now conference room), a winter garden (and now residency place) – witness the castles past and present and serve as a backdrop for the working groups activities. Coffee breaks and a common lunch (Risotto) allow to exchange across the groups.

The film Scuola senza fine , realized by filmmaker Adriana Monti in 1983, will be installed as a projection in the foyer of Château Mercier – accessible for those who’d like to watch the film or parts of it during breaks. Based on an experimental school in Italy in the 70ies, the film was conceived collaboratively with a group of women who attended a life changing 150 hours cours, it’s transformative and feminist presence will accompany us during the day.

Since the symposium is providing a lunch the inscription is mandatory.
Deadline : March 20.

Please confirm your participation to:

Meeting point : Sierre, train station 9:45h

  • 9.45 – 10.45 Walk to Château Mercier
  • 10.45 Welcome coffee and presentation of the groups 11-13h First workshop session
  • 13-14.30 Lunch
  • 14.30-16.30 Second workshop session
  • 16.30-17.30 Coffee break and feedback round



how do we know!
RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co)

How do we know what we want to know? This question is at the beginning of the joint fabrication of a curriculum, where art is part of the context. How are personal, professional, social agreements shaped? Which contracts do we want to draft? These questions address the basic conditions that constitute our artistic practice in and outside teaching and studies.

At the same time, we examine the glances that look at art and the gazes that are directed out of works at the viewers. Canon, ranking, index: words that describe the place given to artists and their works. We bring our canons, our models, our references together.

challenging the default 
Kadiatou Diallo

There has been ample talk about decolonization in (Western) art institutions as of late – certainly in the museum context and maybe less so in relation to art education institutions. What exactly is being addressed when inviting the decolonial debate into the institution? What transformative changes are (not) intended? What could or should a decolonized Western art institution look like? Who decides? To whose benefit? During this upcoming MA Symposium, we will consider possible answers to these questions and deliberate possible decolonial strategies - and how to apply them.

Art School Make Over
Patricia Ellis

The MA Fine Art course at Chelsea College of Art has recently been revalidated to more effectively facilitate emerging artists to very contemporary arts practices. At its core is a value of “learning through doing”, where emerging artists develop their practices through activating their work and ideas in genuine professional contexts. The course is structured as an ‘artists’ collective’ which continuously promotes cultural enquiry and knowledge exchange through participating in shared studio community, running a gallery, contributing to an online publication, and organizing off-site events in the UK and abroad. Currently in its pilot year, our 2018-19 artists will soon be tasked with developing a curriculum for incoming 2019-20 artists.
Proposal: If you could change anything about art school, what would it be and how would you do it? In this workshop we will attempt to do it for real and co-design a (institutionally, logistically, financially) feasible curriculum. The outcome will be shared with Chelsea MAFA artists to inform their own curriculum design.

while moving and displacing
Sara Mc Laren

This is not a dance workshop, nor a conference, it’s about movement, small ones, big ones, displacements, gestures, experiments. It’s about understanding and experimenting our surroundings through and with our bodies. A starting point to think through our perception, to think physically. We will spend the day outside, in the streets of Sierre, activating our bodies individually or collectively, as a way to feel, listen, poeticize, react, occupy, observe. A day to awake your senses. 


Marie-Antoinette Chiarenza and Daniel Hauser are artists and co-founders of RELAX . The group, formed in Paris in a squat (1983), has been working since on issues of values and wealth and social economies. The « & co » in their name refers to all kind of cooperations with people. People are sometimes involved in the artworks, othertimes they are just involved in the process, depending on the context of places and themes. Their statements such as « thinking alone is criminal (1991) », « artists are no flags (1993) », « I am a woman, why are you not ? (1995) » or « you pay but you don‘t agree with the price (1994) are regularly used in their installations and public spheres projects. RELAX has been working in art institutions in all kind of constellations since 1993. Hauser is leading the art studies at the F+F school of art and design since 2000 and Chiarenza is an artworker at the HEAD Geneva since 2008. RELAX is based in Zurich since 2002, more informations are to be found on the website:

Kadiatou Diallo is an independent curator, facilitator and creative practitioner who lives and works between Basel and Cape Town. Her academic background is in Educational Psychology and the Fine Arts. Together with Dominique Malaquais, Kadiatou Diallo co-directs SPARCK - Space for Pan African Research, Creation and Knowledge . In existence since 2008, SPARCK is an independent, multi-sited platform of experimental multi-disciplinary arts collaborations, interrogations, manifestations and publications. Since 2013 Kadiatou produces the podcast Artists on Africa , an experiment in content and knowledge generation both from and about Africa, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, from an artists’ perspective. As curator-in-residency at Atelier Mondial in 2016, she presented SCH , an experimental series of public engagements around the theme of silence/ ing at the Ausstellungsraum Klingental in Basel. For the 7 th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) in 2017 in Basel, she curated the public space performance Festival A* Piece of Street and was chief editor for the once-off publication A*Magazine that was published on the same occasion. Her recent curatorial projects include the international Corssroads Conference (a partnership with Pro Helvetia and DEZA) and accompanying artistic programme, as well as Upfront , a series of artistic encounters developed in the context of the 2018 season opening of Kaserne Globâle at Kaserne Basel. Besides her collaborative projects, Kadiatou currently works as research associate for the Aesthetics from the Margins project at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel.

Patricia Ellis is an artist, art writer, consultant and curator whose research spans all areas of contemporary art. Regularly working with galleries, museums and artists to provide interpretive texts for artworks and exhibitions, Ellis uses this platform to experiment with how art is communicated, frequently adopting structural and narrative devices used by popular media.
Ellis' writing and curating is often performative, approaching texts and exhibitions as works of art themselves, while her paintings are made using textured and tactile surfaces to create spatial illusions, reflecting her interest in how art is communicated in this digital age.
Ellis has written catalogue texts for institutions such as The Hermitage (St. Petersburg), The Royal Academy (London), Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Lyon, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Gemeente Museum (Den Haag), Vanabbe Museum (Amsterdam), Migros Museum (Zürich), and Kunsthalle St. Gallen.
She's also worked with The Saatchi Gallery since 1998 as an Associate Interpretations Curator and held editorial posts with MAKE, Art & Music and Giancarlo Politi Editore, publisher of Flash Art International, Flash Art Italia and Invervista.
Ellis is a regular contributor to Spike Quarterly and has written for other periodicals including Modern Painters, Beaux Arts, Contemporary and Metropolis M. Her books include 100:The Work That Changed British Art, the three part Triumph of Painting series and Ellis also co-authored Interview with Painting. Ellis’ curatorial projects include British exhibitions for the 2001 Tirana, 2003 ArtKliasma (Moscow) and the 2005 Prague biennales. She is currently an Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England, and was also a Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Arts Council from 2007–10.

Sara Mc Laren: After finishing her masters in "Art in Public Spaces" in Sierre, Switzerland, she works around social and everyday situations: people, place, time. Influenced by her studies in social science, Sara Mc Laren bases her research approach around the disciplines of anthropology and geography to better understand a context. Observation of everyday life, collecting texts, writing, drawing, mapping, are transformed into different imaginary using graphics, movement, or sound. In parallel, she participates collectively in the writing, and the creation (more particularly of the dance and the choreography) of the street theater compagnie Sputnik. 

Haute école d'art et de design – Genève / HEAD


A proposition by Anselm Franke
With: Kader Attia, Avery Gordon, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Rachel O’Reilly, Ho Rui An, and others.
Organized by HEAD–Genève, Département Art Visuel
25–26.3.2019, 10 am – 6 pm

Lieux: : Cinéma Spoutnik USINE, Genève
Contact program:

In English, the word “possession” has two divergent meanings, perhaps not quite accidentally. It’s earliest sense is taking possession or occupation, which becomes legal property. The second meaning is of a thing or a person possessed, as in demonic possession (first recorded in the 1580’s in Europe) and the manifold forms of shamanic and other possession rituals across the non-European world. Might the two meanings, at first sight radically diverging, in fact form a double bind that sheds light on the history of the modern subject? Many historians and theorists have shown how the “self-possessed”, rational and autonomous subject of enlightenment and colonial Europe was instituted legally in relation to private property. Dis-owning one’s self in states of trance and spirit possession constituted the quintessential antithesis to that subject’s rationality. The ideological “great divide” between modern self-possessed and property-owning subjects and non-modern forms of collectivity enacted a double-bound colonial division that has had enormous influence on our understanding of forms of communion. In this two-day Master Symposium, we will look at the systemic interconnections between various forms of material and symbolic possession and dispossession. And we will explore what the impact of reading the history of the modern subject through the lens of this double-bind has on our understanding of spirituality. The program consists of lectures, films and film excerpts, performances and conversations.

École cantonale d'art de Lausanne / ECAL


28 March 2019, 9.30 am – 5 pm
Auditoire Ikea, ECAL /Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, Avenue du Temple 5, 1020 Renens
Language: French. Q&A will be in English and in French.

  • 9.30 pm, Reception
  • 10 am – 11.30 am, Philippe Azoury, KILL Yr IDOLS, Introduction
  • 11.30 am – 12.30 pm, Screening of the film "Das Blut Im Fruchtfleisch gerinnend beim Birnenbiss" (2016) by Tobias Madison. Discussion about the film with Philippe Azoury. Due to reasons of force majeure, Tobias Madison will not be able to be part of the symposium.
  • 2 pm – 3.30 pm, Eduardo Williams, "Que je tombe tout le temps?". Conference, film screenings
  • 3.30 pm – 5 pm, Conclusion, discussion


The 20th century invented youth. It has inspired the century in all matters, it has become its horizon. We move forward according to its tastes. Until the end of the World War II, youth was thus only rarely considered, as if in a transitory state, stuck in an awkward age. Then, all of a sudden, with the rise of pop culture, the market economy started to seduce it. A phenomenon that was long regarded as an embarrassing growth spurt ended up dominating the world.

The 21th century is nineteen, twenty years old. And youth still remains a mystery. One relishes to conceptualize and historicize it. One also knows that youth never stops to toss and turn. It exists in order to produce moments, ideas (immediately subjected to aging), new gestures, or which youth believes to be new? Amnesiacs are the content ones.

One must see how the history of youth has been sketched in the last century, as a straight line, or maybe in successive layers, strata, sedimentations. Less than a century has produced a tome of attitudes that describe each and every generation, the way they took possession of the cultural field, of trends, languages, postures and all theses signs that aim to destroy the next generation (in order to provide new space for the possible).

Invariants stand in the midst of all this nonetheless: the same doubts, rage, opposition, unease, fake arrogance, discoveries and the same gold. Politicized, or at least concerned, youth 2.0 is soaked in a yet to be analyzed opposition between the speed rate of its exchanges that it constantly develops further and a desire to tame late capitalism's irrevocable damages: the disintegration of the planet and its climate.

Outpacing capitalist realism might well have become the new horizon of a youth that was formed by its very capabilities of speed.

In this setup, what are the new postures, ideas, excesses and transformations that are – again and again – capable of inventing youth? How will the new emerge if we remain at the core of an exhausting recommencement ?

Philippe Azoury

Biographies of the participants

Philippe Azoury is a journalist (Libération, Vanity Fair, NRF, France Culture, Les Inrockuptibles), Culture chief editor for Grazia, and author of several books on Jim Jarmusch, Werner Schroeter, Philippe Garrel. He has been teaching the History of Ideas for the last four years at ECAL, conducting a research seminar on the question of youth.

Eduardo Williams studied at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, before joining Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in France. Williams’ shorts films Could See a Puma (2011) and That I’m Falling? (2013) premiered at Cinéfondation and Director’s Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival, followed by Tôi quên rồi ! (2014) which had its premiere at FID Marseille. His first feature, The Human Surge (2016), won the Filmmakers of the Present prize at the 69th Locarno Film Festival.

Registration at