INARTIS: Institut del Teatre (Barcelona) and UAH (Madrid) commissioned ARTEA to write a Report of research in the performing arts about practice-based postgraduate studies, which included the analysis of methodologies and structures developed by twenty Universities in Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Poland, Canada, United States and Colombia. This report also included documentation about independent centres outside the academy in which rigorous and constant artistic research takes place and which offer very original formulas to conceive the figure of artist-researcher.
A second phase of this project consisted of editing a compilation of a series of texts, Cairon 13. Practice and research, which tackle the issue of artistic research and that show the fundamental positions in the debate around this subject in the field of performing arts. The compilation consists in a series of contributions in which different ways of understanding the creative process as research in performing arts are presented, both in the field of the academia and in the field of the artistic work itself. This two documents helped us to a great extent in conceiving and creating this MA programme.
On the other hand, we have already gained experience in the previous academic year: this MA was first offered in the 2009-10 year as a non official degree in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, La Casa Encendida and Matadero Madrid. Courses and related activities took place in Madrid, Alcala de Henares and Sigüenza in spaces of the institutions mentioned before as well as in Medialab-Prado, Off-Limits art gallery and the surrounding neighbourhood of Matadero, el Pico del Pañuelo. The collaboration of the British Council and ARTEA made it possible to offer specific activities. The fact that these are offered in different settings is a defining element of the study, which is conceived as a floating academic space: certain organizational difficulties are highly compensated by the possibility of interacting with a privileged critical and artistic environment in the context of the cultural life of the city of Madrid.
During this first year, one of the laboratories was directed by La Ribot at MNCARS (Reina Sofia Museum) and the other by Rolf Abderhalden in Matadero. Students could take different courses and workshops around these laboratories: Workshop in audiovisual and digital tools, History and critique of contemporary staging, Workshop in body experimentation, Workshop in performance practices, Theory and critique of performance practices, Debates and theoretical models on gender, identity and visual culture, Trends in contemporary aesthetics, Stage space and sound space, Project management, Pedagogy in the arts, Art and disability.
Participants also could benefit from parallel activities outside the program like SISMO Festival, that took place at the same time of the opening of the academic year, the Performance Forum in ARCO, talks about artistic research organized by ARTEA in Off Limits ad MOVS. Gallery Off Limits offered a space for the presentation of projects and Casa del Doncel in Sigüenza was a meeting point for an intensive seminar in February where students and teachers could share the process of every research project. After this seminar, students received mentorship from those artists present in the seminar: Cuqui Jerez, Amalia Fernández, Carlos Marquerie, Juan Domínguez, Óscar Cornago and Maral Kekejian.
Master Program 2009/10
We propose this programme affirming the value of the arts practices as research processes. The inclusion of art education in the higher education system in Europe implies the recognition of arts as disciplines which generate knowledge. The objective of this program is to open research spaces for artists, theoreticians and pedagogues, creating an autonomous field of work and research methodologies adequate to the performing arts specificity.
The search of specifity is not in conflict with the inscription of these practices in the broader realm of visual (or audiovisual) culture. This inscription justifies the catalogue of theory courses and laboratories as well as the criteria to determine priorities in the complementary workshops. It is our intention to propose a concept of performing practice in dialogue with other dominant forms of communication in the contemporary culture: that’s why we emphasize audiovisual and digital tools. But we also assume the impossibility of separating the artistic practice from other social and discursive practices: that’s why we are interested in cultural studies, community arts and self management projects.