THE SCHOOL OF THE DAMNED DEGREE SHOW 2015
PLEASE NOTE: THE GALLERY WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC ON MONDAY 23rd AND TUESDAY 24th FEBRUARY DUE TO ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE WORK.
PRIVATE VIEW: FRIDAY 6th FEBRUARY 6PM
EXHIBITION: SAT 7th FEB– SAT 28th FEB MON – SAT, 12 – 6PM
The problems we face on a daily basis can be overwhelming. The sheer amount typically produces the question; which one to tackle first? Addressing one issue inevitably leads to a bunch of new ones. According to the post-modern neo-liberal self-help lingo, problems only exist within ourselves and when we excel as individuals we will rise above them.
Fuck that, there are very real issues out there that no amount of personal self-improvement nor mindfulness will tackle.
Another approach, which seems tempting at times, is the ostrich solution. But with the modern day sprawling urbanism, attempting to put your head in the sand may cause severe head injuries as your skull meets the concrete floor.
So - the way to deal with problems is to acknowledge them.
Lack of access to higher education is a real problem, student debt is a problem, hermetic white cube art is a problem, endless email threads are a problem, precarious living situations in shitty flats with terrible landlords are a problem, not being eligible for application to new contemporaries is a problem, xenophobia is a problem, inability to hold down job due to utter boredom is a problem, Instagram art is a problem, anxiousness is a problem, continual reference to 90’s hip hop in fine art is a problem, unethical institutions are a problem, building a shelf from a flat pack is a really complicated and arduous set of problems, binge drinking is a problem, escapism is a problem, complicity within a structure you distrust is a common problem, a broken limb is a problem, austerity is a problem, falling asleep on the night bus because public transport is shit and your bike was stolen is a frequent problem.
School of the Damned was founded as a pragmatic protest in response to a problem. Although we give no claim to having solved the issue of access to education, the coming together as a group of individuals has made one problem more manageable.
In this show we aim to address a multiplicity of problems, big ones and small ones. The aim is not necessarily to find a solution but rather to recognise the pickle at hand as a trigger. Just like falling asleep on the night bus, facing a problem can allow one to arrive at an unexpected point of departure.
CLASS OF 2015:The School Of The Damned is a course run by its students and supported by a growing circle of visiting lecturers and tutors. It challenges the funding structures within the current system of higher education, providing artists with the opportunity to study in a space which allows for critical discourse and a sustained re-assessment of students art practices. The course aims to establish a new network of artists, academics and institutions, which not only advocates free education, but also demands a universal acknowledgment of education as a fundamental right. This action is a necessary response to the increasingly precarious working-living situation, a lack of time and space is a reality for many practicing artists today. The School Of The Damned facilitates essential time for contemplation and critique of each student’s art practices within a constructive framework. We demand a level of rigour and commitment similar to that of an accredited MA. The course is constantly re-assessing itself in conversation with outside advisers who come from a range of auto-didactic and academic backgrounds. Integral to The School Of The Damned ethos is the labour exchange. Trading time for time is a subversion of the current monetary corruption of the educational system; we rally against the present model of free labour and exploitation within the creative industries. The School Of The Damned does not advocate or condone an independent system of education based on entrepreneurial values, philanthropy, libertarianism or self-reliance. As current occupants of the School, we trust that this protest will continue into the future.