Head hunting art : the artist-philosopher and the value of incorporating philosophy within the education of practicing artists

REEVE, Hester (2008). Head hunting art : the artist-philosopher and the value of incorporating philosophy within the education of practicing artists. The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 2 (6), 1-8.

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Whilst historically art and philosophy have both viewed themselves as distinctly different disciplines, philosophers none the less have taken to defining and discussing art’s value with little recognized contribution made by artists to philosophy. This assumed divide is perhaps now on the wane in that contemporary philosophical texts are often necessarily poetic in nature and there is, post-conceptualism, a broad recognition of art’s ability to define its own philosophical foundations. However, whilst most (British) art schools incorporate art theory into their curriculum, rarely do they offer encounters with philosophical enquiry per se as an implicit aspect of a fine art practice. My recent experience teaching philosophy (Heidegger and his forbears) to BA Fine Art students reveals that young artists become impassioned when offered the chance to philosophise. Rather than ‘instruct,’ philosophical readings empower a readiness for ontological questioning that impacts upon a student’s art practice and their sense of artist-identity.

I teach philosophy as a practicing artist myself; underlying this subject is my concern to highlight the artist as special type of thinker-philosopher (a thinking that embraces experience and always seeks manifestation through praxis). Whereas art theory tends to facilitate an understanding of already established opinions surrounding art and its social-historical context, philosophy tends to allow students to start formulating their own stakes as creators in a ‘world in the making.’ This, I argue, is of political as well as artistic import.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Page Range: 1-8
Depositing User: Hester Reeve
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2012 10:03
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 20:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5399

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