By making necessary its reorganization, redesign or outright closure, Covid-19 has directed attention to the built environment of learning and teaching in unprecedented ways. The architecture of the classroom, the notorious “third teacher”, however, remains present in its absence.
This said, its presence has always been valued differently depending on the respective historical moment and geopolitical context. The research and exhibition project “Education Shock. Learning, Politics and Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s” at HKW, Berlin (2018-21) attends to the variants and contradictions of the spatialities of education. It is as much about the glory of reform as about the attacks launched against the institutions of school and university (and their physical-architectural articulations). The talk will render some conceptual premises of the project and provide a glimpse onto its exhibition-part (which won't have opened at the time of the talk, despite its original opening date on September 12, 2020; the tentative opening date now is April 1, 2021).
Tom Holert works as a cultural theorist, art historian, curator and occasional visual practitioner. In 2015 he co-founded the Harun Farocki Institut, an archive, research and facilitating platform on visual politics, documentary, education and moving images in Berlin. Recent book publications include: Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present, c. 1930 (ed., with Anselm Franke, Diaphanes, 2018; catalog/reader supplementing the 2018 exhibition of the same title at HKW, Berlin); Knowledge Beside Itself: Contemporary Art's Epistemic Politics (Sternberg Press, 2020); Bildungsschock. Lernen, Politik und Architektur in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren (ed., De Gruyter, 2020; reader, accompanying the upcoming, 2021 exhibition Education Shock. Learning, Politics, and Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s at HKW, Berlin) and Politics of Learning, Politics of Space. Architecture and the Education Shock of the 1960s and 1970s (De Gruyter, 2021).
Plattform is Bergen Kunsthall's series of lectures and debates with artists and prominent thinkers. Expanding on topics of our exhibitions and events, they give a chance to engage or dig deeper. Plattform events are live-streamed on our website, Facebook and Vimeo.