Tag Archives: Art & Design

Juche: Art School State of Mind

Closing Keynote for CHEAD Regional Seminar on The Role of Contextual Studies in Art School Education, The Glasgow School of Art 16/4/2015

I specifically address how the Juche mentality operates internally in art schools. Key to this is the connection between the liberal use of the euphemism ‘integration’ in art schools and how it’s used to manufacture folk devils by opponents of multiculturalism. In this framework, ‘studio’ is implicitly presented as the righteous indigenous territorialised community and ‘context’ as other.

When departmentalism is considered as a community of practice ‘integration’ can be understood as a latent form of monculturalism and assimilationism, one aided by the monotechnic roots of art schools. This is anathema in terms of how knowledge is produced today.

Connected to this is the assumption that the art and design curricula are fine and just need tweaking. In fact, like any exceptionalist Juche-style regime, they are fundamentally flawed and need to be rebuilt from scratch. That can only happen through a radical transformation of the art school’s community of practice so that it is symbiotic with international communities of knowledge production.