Summer School Marfa is a three week Summer School in Marfa, Texas for students from the Dutch Art Institute, the Sandberg Instituut/Gerrit Rietveld Academie and California College of Arts (CCA) from May 26 until June 14, 2014. This year’s edition of the annual project is organized by Amsterdam-based cultural platform TAAK, in close collaboration with instructors from each institute: Shaun O’Dell and Lindsey White (CCA), Curdin Tones (SI), and Renee Ridgway (DAI). In total 20 students (seventeen nationalities) will participate. The aim is to expand contemporary discourses, social practices and politics in art to create a unique experience and opportunity for students and to gain an understanding of the dynamics and social impact of art in public spaces. By examining the transformation of Marfa, students engage in a critical analysis of the value and use of public art using fieldwork methods.
On Thursday June 12, 7-12pm an Opening Event will take place, with contributions by all participants, at Lumberyard across from The Get Go grocery, Marfa Texas.
The small desert town Marfa was built during the Texas oil boom in the late 19th century with the assumption there would be oil nearby. There was not. During the Mexican revolution (1910-1915), the US Army established a presence in the outskirts of the town to defend the border and assist the side the Americans where interested in. The army maintained a presence during World War 2 and then left. During the war, German prisoners of war were housed at the Fort Russell where they obtained expansive murals of West Texas Living. In 1973 Judd moved to Marfa. There he developed and made his site specific objects. To Judd they where not paintings nor sculptures, but constructions of ‘real space’, resulting out of a finite and supreme vision on what art should be that stills reigns in Marfa in many ways.
Supervised by Theo Tegelaers, TAAK and the tutors from the participating institutions, the students of Summer School Marfa 2014 will examine the natural and cultural – historical and sociological shifts that this small desert town transubstantiated in the past century. They will be encouraged to analyze the different events and actors that have been decisive for how this town has changed and will critically relate to the transformative power of art in the public sphere.
From May 26 to June 14 2014, for three weeks, Building 98 will facilitate the Summer school programme. Building 98 used to be the historic US army base bachelor officer quarters, officers club, and grand ballroom from 1911 to 1946. The building is located at Fort David A. Russell’s central fort complex and is now the headquarters of the International Woman’s Foundation.
TAAK is an international platform that develops innovative art projects and educational programs relating to social issues such as ecology, urbanization, social design and human rights. TAAK places topics of public interest on the agenda and develops innovative strategies and perspectives for a changing world. Art and culture shape and express values that can unite different groups in society. By using art to mobilize artists, commissioners, citizens and organizations around specific themes, TAAK investigates how new types of social initiatives and citizenship may arise.
TAAK has divided its activities into two areas of focus: TAAK.Make develops artworks commissioned by, or in collaboration with partners, while TAAK.Learn develops educational activities and new forms of knowledge transfer.