A painted picture “(…) is a dispositif, that is to say, a machine to generate problems,” (according to Pierre Bourdieu in his lectures on Edouard Manet), - i.e. if you like, it is a device to provoke reflection.
The Schmidt Class deals with artistic practice – and specifically with pictorial or artistic practice that tries to fathom what pictorial or artistic practice can generally do to get close to analysing reality or dovetailing realities and their social contexts. What might particularly qualify painting here as opposed to other image media – or not? At the same time, the class aims to stimulate reflection on the medium of painting, its historical, media, digital, political and current implications – and this process of reflection involves joint development and is discursive. The course also aims to map out the wealth of opportunities for “visualising” content. Despite this, practical work is the focal point of the class activities.
Artistic productions, which confront unresolved, socially relevant issues today, no longer need to be the isolated products of professionally blinkered studio dwellers. Each “case”, each case study on a thematic interrelationship, also requires an individual methodology. There is no particular scheme that can be transferred from one case to another at will. This process of reflection comprises cooperative and interdisciplinary practice, in addition to an individual approach.A recurring theme of theoretical questions is supposed to be embedded in the practical work. The basis here is a term of collegiality, which – it is hoped – creates a pool of common (or differentiating) questions, a joint memory in the context of art, politics through imagery and the phenomenon of painting.