The transcultural language of art
7 August 2013
Andrew Stahl, Head of Undergraduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, explains how he uses international residencies to aide his students' global understanding.
How it works
The development of international and transcultural residencies have been a growing part of the pedagogy at the Slade and plans are to extend these interactions even further from already existing, 'bottom-up' networks.
We are bringing artists together from different cultures with the intention of developing extraordinary cross-cultural energies and sympathies resulting from contact, synergies and differences. The students benefit by having access to and being a part of this transnational exchange and gain a richer and more diverse perspective. This interaction focuses attention on the growing sense of art as a transcultural language that transcends and questions the western-dominated historical perspective.
The excitement of the advent in the end of the '70s of postmodernism was the questioning of the utopian and romantic, clean-cut, historical development of modernism. Postmodernism confined itself to the possibilities of a sweet shop mentality in terms of earlier 'euro' styles and traditions. Now, however, we are presented with the possibilities for global exchange, with the whole of world culture as the new encyclopaedic artistic sweet shop of ideas and iconography to be engaged with and opportunities to make art across the world with this new sense of global consciousness.
We have been enabling students to have artist in residence experiences on leaving the Slade in other cultures and similarly we have had artists from places such as Thailand and China being resident at the Slade Research Centre, participating in seminars and crits and making work to show in exhibitions.
In the video below, Andrew talks about the residencies system in greater detail.