Monday, February 21, 2011

Making my subject choices.....

Today I finally got to decide what subjects I will be taking whilst at NABA!

~These are my subjects:

-History of Contemporary Art  I
-Analysis and Design of Audio Spaces
-Video Installation (Video Art)
-Cultural Anthropology
-Public Art & Urban Interventions

I feel that this combination of subject areas will give me a wide scope of concepts and a great diversity in mediums to work with. This process has especially made me more excited about the exchange now that I know what I will be studying....

NABA as an art institution is much more theoretical in its approach to teaching than DoJ. There is a  timetable with classes taking place everyday, which means that a lot of our time at the academy will be discussing these mediums and concepts as well as practically exploring them.

It is definalty going to be very interesting to be learning in a new environment for the next 5 months. I am sure that there will be a lot to learn from the Italians and the way they view Art and teach it. I look forward to expanding my artistic knowledge and coming back to Dundee to translate it all into the work I will make for my final year.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have arrived!

I arrived in Milan Malepensa Airport on Sunday evening and from there slowly made my way into the city~ It was a very strange feeling to finally be in the place I had researched for so long and it sort of felt like I was about to meet an old friend and a stranger at the same time...

I am staying with a lovely Italian family for the first few weeks, lodging in the hostess's daughters' room. The NABA course does not start until February 28th. so I am here studying an Intensive Italian course at the Scuola de Leonardo before the semester begins.

It has been very amusing to communticate with the people here and to overcome the language barrier. Even though I am a fluent Spanish speaker (which is quite similar to Italian) there are still alot of words and frases that are compleytely different.  I have to admit that my Italian is still pretty poor but I am only on my 4th day and am confident that I can grasp the language by the time the NABA course begins.

Because I am going to be living here for quite a long period of time,  I feel it is a very different approach to when just visiting a city. Even though I am in one of the most cultural cities of Europe, the first things I did when I arrived was to work out the metro system, find my way to the school campus and adopt a local supermarket. For me, it was about first immersing myself in the everyday life here and then I could begin to discover its more cultural side like the Duomo cathedral and all Milan's art museums.

I feel that I have stepped into the rythm of life here very easily. Milan is a wonderful city and the people I have encountered so far have made me feel very at home already. I have found that the city has a great mix of people from all over the world, there is a great diversity in the students and that gives the whole place a very rich feeling.

I am very much looking forward to my five months here, integrating myself within the artistic community, meeting and interacting with people from all over the world, and exploring my artistic practice in a completely different culture!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Performance Art in Milano...

O 'presents Matter of Action - third round of the cycleINTERMEDIATE review of other artist's media - by Giorgio Maffei,Sara and Samuel Menin Serighelli.

The performance, happenings, body art, the poetry action, action,acts by their nature are ephemeral art that will last a short time of their ritual performance. This exhibition tries to stop time and try totell the sequence of actions through those means of expressioncapable of performing at the event to give body and life,photography, record, video, book. Through a development thatmay be disturbing, it provokes and urges the visitor to go beyond a certain habit of looking in favor of a more active participation, it is suggested that perceptually meaningful than sharing the contentsof the materiel in the exhibition.

Friday, February 4, 2011

9 days to go...

It is very surreal yet exciting knowing that after planning this exchange for the past 10 months and going through eternal lists and organising, that finally I am only days away from going away and experiencing everything...

I am really looking forward to this exchange, especially as an external experience and insight into how other art institutions are influenced by their surrounding cultures. I feel very positive about going away as it is going to be a wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge of the arts and to meet other students in this crucial stage of self exploration.

In the exchange I really want to question my practice and truly grasp it. I want to explore and experiment my processes through different mediums and concepts which I have never come against. I feel that this experience will be a transitionary moment within my artistic development and give me a bigger perspective and view point within my work.

The wonderful thing about going away is that you have both the internal and external space to become anything and anyone. Because I will be interacting with people and working alongside tutors that I am not familiar with, theres is an essence of freedom and openness. It means that I can allow my art to speak for me and also explore who I want to be as an artist.

I have a good reading list whilst I'm away, and they are all slightly linked to the sense of entering new spaces as part of a journey. 'The Practice of Everyday Life' written by Michel de Certeau looks at the elements of Performance within everyday life and studies the presence of people within their environments. I think that this will be especially interesting as it will be a good way to reflect Certeau's philosophies of exploring everyday life within my own journeys.  I feel it is when we enter a new city or environment that we become much more aware of ourselves and how we inhabit them...

I also plan to read 'London Orbital', which is written by Iain Sinclair. This book was recommended to me by a friend and he said it was very interesting as it is narrated through the sound trail of a city.  Sinclair writes his story, referencing the interesting topic of 'psycho-geography'. I like this terminolgy and I look forward to learning about about his journey and the perspective of meeting a city through its sounds and invisible imprints, rather than its visible ones; to get truly lost within a city.

When I am in Milan I very much want to immerse myself within the city; I want to become a a part of it and at the same time I want to discover new things about myself...I feel that by having this separation from what I know and being away is going to be an extreme eye opener not only as an artist, but also as an individual~ I am especially looking forward to meeting other aspiring artists from all over the world and interacting with them to create an open dialogue between many different cultures, concepts and ideas...