Artist: Ola Vasiljeva
Exhibition title: University
Venue: Antoine Levi, Paris, France
Date: January 22 – March 14, 2015
Photography: Courtesy of the artist and Antoine Levi
University plays with the idea of experimental pedagogical systems, such as the Antiuniversity of London and The Institute of Phenomenological Studies, which formed critique to the major ideological institutions of the society. Such schools experimented with self-organised education and were founded in response to the intellectual bankruptcy and spiritual emptiness of the approved educational establishment. They proposed courses that departed from the conservative educational programs and idealized the unrestricted development of thought.
As the anti-universities reject conscious practices, Vasiljeva makes this idea of “un-learning” run parallel to the critique of reason and sense in general and uses language as her main material. She lets nonsense, fragmentation, forgetfulness and in finity triumph over reason, form, function and chronology.
The installation revolves around the encryption: fragmented language, nonlinear narrative, incomplete phrases, backward cursive and hieroglyphs that can only succeed in teasing the appetite for a logical meaning.
The work is populated by quotes culled from the manifestos of experimental schools and mimics the paraphernalia and methodical framework of such systems. University proposes a course, where the roles of teacher/student are interchangeable, where childhood dictates methodics; where madness, leisure and ignorance are a welcomed and an inspiring fact.