Post Studio is the name of the now legendary university department, initiated by the artist John Baldessari in 1970 at the then newly established California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, for short. Post Studio advocated a concept that shifted artistic production from the studio into everyday life. In its early years, CalArts became known for its progressive pedagogical concepts and feminist artistic practices which influenced an entire generation of artists. To this day, many of the tested ideas and approaches, e.g. institutional critique, image criticism and feminism, remain relevant artistic topoi. In this respect, CalArts and especially Post Studio marked a watershed moment when an artistic change of paradigm became institutionalised. In an exhibition, symposium and extensive research project, the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hanover together with the Freie Universität Berlin and other international partners will conduct a historical assessment of Post Studio for the first time. The exhibition will present individual artistic principles which influenced the teaching activities, as well as some of the school’s innovative teaching methods. It will be the first exhibition to combine the teaching content and the resulting works produced during those formative CalArts years. The exhibition will feature interviews with contemporary witnesses as documents of oral history.
The exhibition aims to emphasise the relevance of the methods developed by Post Studio, especially with regard to digitalisation. It asks to what extent the approaches of artistic detachment from location and material are relevant and helpful to us today when digitalisation has made placelessness and virtuality far more prevalent– and not only in the area of the fine arts.
Project concept und curators: Philipp Kaiser (US), Christina Végh
Cooperation partners: Freie Universität Berlin: Annette Lehmann; Migros Museum Zürich: Heike Munder; California Institute of the Arts Los Angeles: Ravi Rajan; metaLAB Harvard University: Jeffrey Schnapp
Artists: John Baldessari (US), Judy Chicago (US), James Welling (US)