60-61 The Open School

Zehar #60-61

60-61 The Open School

Zehar contributes to documenta 12 magazines in this double number.

ZEHAR 60-61 INGLES-CAST.pdf — PDF document, 2038Kb



Zehar’s decision to contribute to the documenta 12 magazines project focusing on “Education (The Local Institution)” was motivated by the fact that Arteleku, the institution that publishes the magazine, has many years of experience in the field of education. This exceptional characteristic enabled us to tackle education, first by analysing the activities carried out at Arteleku, and then by transferring these experiences to Zehar. We have called this publishing experience, “The Open School”.

EDITORIAL INGLES.pdf — PDF document, 115Kb

Irit Rogoff

Academy as Potentiality

Occasionally in class I find myself saying,“I have no Idea”, to my slightly disbelieving students. This is not a false profession of ignorance or an unbecoming modesty but a genuine expression of the fact that I do not know, in terms of structured knowledge, how to get to where I need to be. It seems to me that the urgent questions and the bodies of knowledge I have at my disposal do not tally and produce a route by which issues, arguments and modes of operating, merge seamlessly. And so it would seem that the task of ‘academy’, of education, is not to affect this seamless merger but to understand this productive disjuncture and its creative possibilities. That subjects and knowledges do not live in a simple state of productive harmony, is the unspoken dimension of the contemporary debate on education, unspoken because it counters the aims to uniformly instrumentalise education towards a set of predetermined outcomes.
As inhabitants of these spaces and atmospheres of ‘academy’ we are forever caught in a, hopefully productive, tension between knowing where we might want to go, being empowered by the sense that we have every right to embark on this journey and equally being aware that we might lack the tools we need or the strength of spirit demanded by any journey into unknown territory. This “I Can/I Can’t” dilemma is at the heart of my understanding of ‘Academy as Potentiality’ which I hope to unfold here.

ROGOLF 004-009 ING.pdf — PDF document, 300Kb

Muriel Andrin

For an educational syncretism

“The evolution of art, as an entity, is expressed in the permanent swings between isolation (differentiation) and fusion. Each art taken individually exists and is developed in comparison with others, as individual species and as a variety. Depending on the eras, either one art or another tends to be an art of the masses and, inspired by the spirit of syncretism, aims to include elements of the other arts. In the history of arts, differentiation and syncretization, are permanent and equally important processes that evolve correlatively. The syncretic forms are not at all the exclusive attribute of primitive art or of the “people”, as was previously believed. Their tendency to reappear is a constant of artistic culture”. In 1926, Boris Eichenbaum, the Russian Rormalist, in his article entitled “Problems of Film Stylistics”, started a debate about a subject that had already stirred up and fascinated thousands of critics right from the earliest films. The subject: cinema as a pure art or as an impure art, as André Bazin would say several decades later. Right at the peak of French impressionists and the European avant-garde, Eichenbaum established the cinema as a syncretic art form.

ANDRIN 016-019 ING.pdf — PDF document, 307Kb

Ariella Azoulay

When photographs begin to be evidence in the historical trial

Benjamin is one of the rare philosophers whose writing emerges from the visual. Most of his writings, including those who do not deal directly with visual questions, contain traces of a gaze and of images or objects. However, almost all of Benjamin’s texts were published without the images to which Benjamin referred or those quoted in his writing. This is true for earlier as well as for later editions, for journals as well as for books. In other words, most of the visual quotes have been erased. Even the texts Benjamin published during his lifetime, including those that explicitly grew out of visual materials or were directly related to them, usually appeared in a regular textual format without the accompaniment of photos. This, I believe, amounts to a publication of a piece of literary criticism without the quotes from the interpreted text. And in most cases the interpreters are not even aware of the fact that the text in front of them is actually incomplete.

AZOULAY 024-029 ING.pdf — PDF document, 402Kb


Art as Education

Fourteen. What could anyone everhope to know at fourteen? At that age,I remember, it was all climbing trees and scuffed knees, and the only knowledge we tried to intercept was the meaning behind the pop songs that reached our rural ears. In those days —and we’re only talking about twenty years ago— if I wanted to know anything that constituted serious information, I would ask around and, when the answer inevitably failed to resolve itself conclusively on the lips of family elders, I would turn to the volumes of a children’s encyclopaedia that rested their broken spines against the bay window of our study room.

NESBITT 036-039 ING.pdf — PDF document, 265Kb


The Experience of the Us

Espai en Blanc is the name of a project created in Barcelona in 2002. The goal, as we said at the time, was to “make thinking passionate again”. By “passionate” we meant that we put our lives into it. And that happens when thinking becomes collective, when it affects our very way of living and challenges the clichés on which our everyday reality is founded.


A project like this has to have a broader aim than simply creating a critical discourse to hold up to the world. From the outset, we felt there was a need to experiment with the conditions of such production: the places, relationships and tools of its creation, communication, education and intervention. As well as creating a collective author, we also wanted to set in motion a whole machine of thought; a device which, by altering the recognisable maps of theoretical production, would lead to a new politicisation of thought. The crisis in the traditional forms of political affiliation and organisation have invalidated the old idea that politicisation requires consciousness and the transmission of a proper discourse. In a globalised world, everything is visible (injustice, lies, cruelty, exploitation, etc.), yet nothing happens. Disclosure and denunciation is valuable in the ambit of information but not in that of social transformation. The enlightened proposition of illuminating consciousnesses—subsequently taken up by the worker’s movement as class consciousness—has thus lost its subversive potential. What then does the production of critical and shared thinking consist of? How do political transmission and formation occur today?

GARCES 044-047 INGL.pdf — PDF document, 280Kb


The geopolitics of knowledge and the coloniality of power An interview with Walter Mignolo

The first part of your question refers to the institutional dimension and thus points towards economic and political foundations in the production of knowledge. Let us again take the Cold War years and, most recently, the post-Cold War years, as a reference point. But let us remember, however, that the Uni-versity was and is a part of the global designs of the modern-colonial world. By this I do not mean that the major civilisations already in existence when Europe was still a weak and semi-barbaric community still in the process of formation had no educational institutions. What I mean is that the educational institution of University was consubstantial in the epistemic conceptualisation that we now know as uni-vers(al)ity. Western religious and economic expansion ran parallel to expansion of the University. As a result, the University’s situation should in this sense be thought of in relation to the global distribution of economic wealth. However, it should also be viewed in relation to the devaluation of education in neo-liberal global designs, in parallel to the devaluation of human life. Argentina’s second Finance Minister in two years in the De la Rúa government, Ricardo López Murphy, was “educated” in the free market economy. The first thing he did was to cut the budget, and he did this in the least “necessary” area – education. However, we already know all this. I am merely trying to view things in terms of the framework of the double-sided concept of modernity/coloniality and of local histories and global designs.

WALSH 052-057 INGL.pdf — PDF document, 320Kb


Forum 61

Who’s talking about art today?
When we considered organising a debate on the teaching of art, on the one hand, we wanted to include the educational memory built up at Arteleku, which like a rolling stone seemed to us to be alive, and on the other, to open up a discussion on the current teaching of art (music, architecture and so on), based on the comments and accounts of people with experience in education who have worked together with Arteleku and/or Zehar.


Imanol Agirre - “The intransigence and arrogance of those who consider themselves to be experts are of little use...”


Juan Vicente Aliaga - “The visual culture in which we now live, in an era of overwhelming capitalism of
information and rapid communication does little to favour unhurried reflection.”


Laura Baigorri - “This conceptualisation of life itself as a film is a symbol of the educating power of the cinematographic.”


Anna Barseghian - Transitional Utopia


José Luis Brea - “I try to foster the development of a scenario in which knowledge is freely circulated.”


Critical practice


Tony Chakar - “...fragmentation is very much in effect, whether in the transmission of “theoretical” knowledge or the practice itself.”


Guadalupe Echebarria - “...there is a dilemma in the art school which parallels the very existence of the school...”


Daniel García Andújar - “Education in the visual arts must offer alternatives for action...”


Marina Grzinic - Education is a strictly political affair


Iñaki Imaz - Pig/Boar. Art Education and Its Contexts


Juan Luis Moraza - Decalogue-wish for an art of teaching (of the arts)


Carmen Navarrete - “...images have been brutally imposed, almost to the point of becoming an instrument of absolute knowledge.”


Carme Ortiz - “...as the project grows, so too does their knowledge.”


Carmen Pardo - Opening Spaces withWords


Juan Perez de Lama - Nobody frees anybody else. Nobody frees themselves alone. We men (and women) free ourselves in communion (with machines?)


Platoniq - “We try to make use of any public format to turn it into a production of shared knowledge...”


Eddie Prévost - “Individuality has run riot...”


Juan Antonio Ramirez - “A different attitude is appropriate for each occasion...”


Jane Rendell - Site-Writing: Critical Spatial Practice


Natxo Rodríguez - Art for All, but without Art (in school)


Martha Rosler - “Structures of criticality—critical culture in general—have been swamped by hegemonic commodity-celebrity-military culture...”


Francisco Ruíz de Infante - Inside Out and Vice Versa (ART3 and the ‘art3ists’)


José Antonio Sánchez - “Teaching centres only make sense insofar as they create the lab conditions...”


Joost Smiers - An aesthetic catastrophe / Architecture since modernism


Begoña Vicario - The effects of changes


Gabriel Villota - Three answers (and two practical proposals)

FORUM 064-119 INGL.pdf — PDF document, 678Kb

Xabier Ganzarain

Shorts: Identity is always a problem

Identity is always a problem. You go somewhere and straightaway the awful question pops up: where are you from? And the answer always contains the prefabricated cliché. The old Basque saying euskalduna, fededuna—Basque-speaking, faith-holding; Basque-speaking, beretwearing; Basque-speaking, weapon-wielding. So you aren’t yourself at all, you’re what the other person wants, you have an identity which is a way of fitting a cliché. But that’s not the worst of it. It’s understandable that people from other places have a certain point of view on your country. The clichés are created inside and have already spread, that’s what’s horrible about it. And this still happens. In many places people dress up in farmhouse costumes for the fiestas.

SHORTS 120-121 INGLES.pdf — PDF document, 107Kb
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