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Studio Without Master

Ateliér bez vedoucího (ABV), based in Prague (CZ)

Studio Without Master was established as a students’ initiative focused on art education with emphasis on non-hierarchical structures and consensus-based decision-making. We rejected individualism as the primary way of organization. Studio Without Master tried to explore the activation potential of art students and rearticulate the political space of art academies. We challenged the art institutions and were engaged in the thoughts of radical pedagogy. Our structure has changed after we finished our studies and we settled as a smaller group of a few graduates of various art disciplines. We were meeting to share each one’s specific knowledge and to discover and problematise possible methods of its reception and production. We considered (self) care as one of the most influential knowledge to practice and share.

Past members (we do not speak about the founding members because it is not important who came first) : Lucie Rosenfeldová, Barbora Švehláková, Jiří Žák, Matěj Pavlík, Kateřina Konvalinová, David Přílučík, Martina Smutná, Anna Remešová, Max Máslo, Vojtěch Märc, Marie Lukáčová, Marie Tučková, Tomáš Kajánek, Jana Baierová, Ondřej Doskočil, Klára Švandová, Terezie Klasová, Eva Rybářová, Vojtěch Novák, Eva Jašková, Lucie Patáková, Martina Kocmanová, Lucie Fryčová, Susanne Kass, Markéta Jonášová and many guests or people who stayed with us for just a brief moment.

Selected activities:

  • 2019 // Washing Kunsthalle – Protest happening against Kunsthalle Prague (institution founded by the former coal oligarch), Prague (CZ)
  • 2019 // Josefov Summer School with a theme “What does university mean today?” – participation of Studio Without Master: Wandering (Wandering is a performative walk where we will all together focus and continue with ongoing debate about the climate crisis), Josefov (CZ)
  • 2018 // Manifesto 2000 words NOW – public hearing at the Czech Academy of Sciences (cooperation with different scientists, researchers and academics on the subject of current role of science in the society in the times of climate crisis), Prague (CZ)
  • 2017 // WHAT CAN WE DO? Conference about art education, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (CZ)
  • 2017 // Book launch of Příjemně jedno: publication which deals with issues of collectivity, production of knowledge, radical pedagogy or reinvention of utopian thinking, Autonomous Social Center Klinika, Prague (CZ)
  • 2017 // Institution in Residence at Tranzit, Prague (CZ)
  • 2016 // How to Become a Ventriloquist?, performative lecture in Circuits and Currents, Athens (GR)
  • 2016 // Cooperation, Education, Critique: residency in Athens (GR)
  • 2016 // Participation at conference TransArts platform on forms of teaching and learning, The University of Applied Arts Vienna (AT)
  • 2016 // Marina Gržinić: lecture and workshop, Prague (CZ)
  • 2015 // workshop with American artist Marianna Maruyama, Prague (CZ)
  • 2015 // Screening of student works in National Gallery, Veletržní palác, Prague (CZ)
  • 2015 // invitation of Lina Ruske and Philipp Rödel to present student collective AGzkL in Leipzig, Prague (CZ)

The video shows a presentation by the Studio Without Master collective at the What Can We Do? conference on art education, which it organized in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. The aim of the conference was to acknowledge the structural problems of art education institutions and to find possibilities of common action, which would counteract the current situation in educational institutions.

From the conference materials:

“Academy of Fine Arts in Prague is a strictly selective educational institution acknowledging its historical heritage and prestige. Its exclusivity is being maintained also through constantly low numbers of candidates accepted. Only those, who show the talent for multidisciplinary artistic practice are offered places on the Academy” (from the press release to 215th anniversary of AVU). Talent, which is the main criteria for admission into an artistic academy is presented as a universal, inborn value, which is also inherent to anyone regarding physical, ethnical, social or other limitations they might be facing. However, are we sure that we are members of Academy because of our talent and diligence? To what extent is openness to diversity a real issue in academic environment?

The walls of art schools are covered with pictures and statues of triumph and heroism. However, these seemingly heroical narratives inherently carry also an experience of those, who have lost or were omitted. Who else can be found inside, on the border or outside the narrative? We believe that the notion of artistic work is being depleted through the narrative of success prioritized by the educational institutions.