Escuela de Arte Útil

Jun 20 2017 — Aug 10 2017
Jun 20 — Aug 10

As part of the exhibition TANIA BRUGUERA: TALKING TO POWER / HABLÁNDOLE AL PODER, YBCA and Tania Bruguera will open a fully functioning school inside of the galleries.

Classes will be held Tuesday–Thursday from 4–8PM, and students will learn about the creation of “useful art” from some of the world’s most influential practitioners. The primary pupils of the school will be a new cohort of YBCA Fellows who are working under Bruguera’s direction. Gallery visitors and the public are always welcome to join classes on a drop-in basis. See the most recent class schedule below.

How to participate

– Drop-in to YBCA’s galleries for lectures that interest you. Planning to come more than once? Consider becoming a YBCA member to get free, unlimited gallery entrance.
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Whether through self-organized groups, individual initiatives, or the rise of user-generated content, people are developing new methods and social formations to deal with issues that were once the domain of the state. These initiatives are not isolated incidents, but also part of an art history that has been neglected, yet shapes our contemporary world. This class will focus on the concept of Arte Útil, which roughly translates into English as “useful art,” while also suggesting that art can be a tool or device. Studying the shifting role of contemporary art, the class will consider factors of the practice of Arte Útil such as institutional self-criticism, active hyperrealism, a-legality, reforming capital, beneficial outcomes, sustainability, intersection with other disciplines, and modes of creative collaboration. We will have weekly guest lectures and case study presentations, as well as access to ongoing Arte Útil projects in the Bay Area.

Class Schedule

(Subject to change)

WEEK 1 Jun 20–22: Course introduction
Instructor: Tania Bruguera, with Gemma Medina and Alessandra Saviotti
Understanding Arte Útil; the Arte Útil Archive; the Asociación de Arte Útil and platforms to sustain and circulate the practice (Creative Capital, Blade of Grass, Casco, Visible project, Van Abbemuseum, Open Engagement, YBCA)

WEEK 2 Jun 27–29: Institutional self-criticism
Instructor: Alistair Hudson (Director of Middlesbrough Museum of Modern Art/UK)
Case Studies: Mission and vision of Mima as museum 3.0; The Museum of Arte Útil and the criteria – Project N.129 -Trade School by Our Goods

WEEK 3 Jul 5–7: Active Hyperrealism
Instructor: Strike Debt Collective
Case Studies: Project N. 473, New World Summit by Jonas Staal -Project N. 285, Legislative Theatre by Augusto Boal – Project N. 156, Cultura Ciudadana by Antanas Mockus

WEEK 4 Jul 11–13: Reforming Capital
Instructor: Jeanne van Heeswijk
Case Studies Analysis: Introduction to Freehouse and its methodology – Project N. 161, Rolling Jubilee by Strike Debt – Project N. 007, Crossroad Community (The Farm) by Bonnie Ora Sherk

WEEK 5 Jul 18–20: Alegal
Instructor: WochenKlausur
Case Studies: Introduction to WochenKlausur methodology and projects – Project N. 516, Degenerated Political Art-Ethical Protocol by Nuria Guell – Project N. 199 – State in Time by IRWIN

WEEK 6 Jul 25–27: Sustainable Outcomes
Instructor: Rick Lowe
Case Studies: Introduction to Project N. 018, Project Row Houses by Rick Lowe and its methodology – Project N. 532, Granby Four Streets CLT

WEEK 7 Aug 1–3: Usership
Instructor: Women on Waves
Case Studies: Introduction to Project N. 197, Women on Waves and projection of the Documentary Vessel – Project N. 126, The Public School by Telic Arts Exchange – Project N. 520, Temporary Services

WEEK 8 Aug 8–10: Presentations
Individual project presentation
Fri, Aug 11: Final Lecture by Tania Bruguera

See full class syllabus»


Escuela de Arte Útil, a commissioned art project for the exhibition Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder, is organized by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in collaboration with California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Asociación de Arte Útil, and YBCA Fellows.

Tania Bruguera: Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder is supported, in part, by The Growlery.

YBCA Exhibitions 16–17 are made possible in part by:
Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Creative Ventures Council.

Free First Tuesdays underwritten by Directors Forum Members.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

Lead Image: Courtesy Asociación de Arte Útil