After I graduated from the University of Art Berlin in (back then 'HdK', today 'UdK Berlin'), I had the opportunity to teach students at this same university as a guest lecturer. The quality of discourse with the students was characterised by an intensity, intellectual hunger and rigour, which, in my experience, is close to non-existent within the contemporary art world. In this situation, I also discovered that my love and passion for art -which I had believed to be singular and unparalleled- was in fact equalled by my love for teaching. I am thus very excited about the launch and potential of the artistunderground academy. I look forward to supporting, and working with, young people who are passionate, radical and uncompromising with regard to their own and their work's autonomy and freedom.
As a self-declared 'artist underground', fiercely suspicious and critical of the mechanisms of the contemporary art world/art market, and thus working strictly outside of it, this self-imposed isolation has guaranteed my freedom, yet has also produced its own powerful limitations and challenges.
The context which the contemporary art world provides neither meets with the requirements of my own work nor does it provide a context for the kind of discourse about the situation of art on the whole which I believe is urgently needed.
I see the existential need to invent and produce the context that is missing.
The fact that not only contemporary art in museums and galleries, but art education at schools and universities is today controlled by the culture industries standards, and that education itself has consequently become highly standardised and standardising, is perhaps the most troubling aspect of the current status quo.
At the same time, art education is also the single most powerful tool that carries real potential for change. We feel passionate about this potential, and seek like-minded people who would like to join -or support us- in our effort.
Artistunderground is driven by the Utopia that this movement has the potential to initiate real change and can impact on the situation on the whole. At the same time, our outlook is focussed on the small scale - even to develop this utopia as a seed-like template with potential for future development, and to find even only a small handful of people to work with and radically develop our questions regarding the nature and role of art in the 21st century I would regard as an achievement.
If you would like to find out more, contribute to this website, get involved or support artistunderground - please get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.