the classroom #1
Adelita Husni-Bey, the classroom, 2016.
Installation view of the solo show in Milano.
Photo: Giovanna Silva
The classroom launched its activity with a program running on April 8 through 18 in Milan where the first invited artist Adelita Husni-Bey (Italy and Lybia, 1985, lives and works in New York) presents a solo show at the center (8-10, April), a course seminar (11-18, April) hosted at Bocconi University and a public lecture on arts and educational practices at Triennale Milano.
The invitation to the artist to take part in the project was promoted by the nature of Husni-Bey’s work itself, based on research on radical pedagogy and the relationship between art and educational practices. The artist has been stimulated to organize a selection of videos, drawings, photographs and sculptural elements specially created as aids for the classroom work with students, in the space of the exhibition and in the seminar room.
Bocconi University, Milan
The sculptural works produced by Adelita Husni-Bey already and seen in the show staged at the classroom spaces, have been later brought to Bocconi University where a classroom was specifically set by the artists to host the workshop. The same classroom turned during the night time as an exhibition site displaying the latest video work by Husni-Bey entitled After the finish line (2015), a research focused on the meaning of competitive sports and the origins of the pursuit of success.
Via Porpora 81, Milan
The exhibition itinerary starts with the videos Postcards from the desert (2010/2011) and Agency (2014), two works that reflect on education systems and contemporary society. In the first work the protagonists are the students of the Ecole Vitruve in Paris, a self-managed elementary school founded in 1962 by the educator Robert Gloton, applying experimental pedagogical models based on cooperation and non-competition among students.
In the second work the actors are 35 student volunteers from Liceo Manara in Rome, involved by the artist in a workshop on the relationships of power in contemporary Italy, calling systems and models into discussion. The analysis of the society and alternative systems of learning continues in works like Ard (2014), a video installation composed of a video, a work table, a bench and an urban planning model. These elements greet viewers, who find themselves facing the representation of a project of metropolitan development known as “Cairo 2050.” In the video a group of inhabitants of the zones impacted by the project are shown the same model and take part in a discussion on the project, reaching the point of altering the model with their own hands. Thus conceived, the itinerary constructs a compact body of research methods and personal visions, presented for the first time inside a narrative sequence that continues, after the exhibition, in the classroom crafted by the artist.