The film Manifesto (Ane Hjort Guttu, 2020, 27') presents a portrait of an activist 'Trojan horse' that moves within the contours of an art school in Oslo, Norway. Ane Hjort Guttu uses her experience as a teacher to paint a sharp, accurate picture of life in such an institution.
In 2020, Ane Hjort Guttu wrote an article in the magazine Kunstkritikk.no entitled 'The End Of Art Education As We Know It', in which she describes how art education has transformed since 2010. Art schools have lost much of their autonomy since the Bologna Accords and their transition into larger educational institutions. While the administrative work and thus the administrative staff is increasing, the number of professionals has dropped. The administration has literally moved outside the academy and has limited contact with the daily practicalities of teaching and learning. The neo-liberalisation that seeps into art education influences and changes its practice through organisation, architecture and digitalization. In her article, Guttu looks at how the architecture of art schools forms the education itself as well as how current ideology manifests in the art school buildings. From musty studios where painters are taught by a 'master teacher’, we have moved to open, transparent spaces where a multidisciplinary artistic practice is encouraged.
While Ane Hjort Guttu´s article mainly describes and discusses, a different story can be heard in her film 'Manifesto', which appeared at about the same time as the article. In this fictional documentary, a group of students, teachers and other staff take matters into their own hands and try to bring back lost freedom in the modern academy. They find ways to undermine control through a secret system that creates a 'shadow academy'. The film asks what you give up when creativity is replaced by order, and gives us concrete plans on how we ourselves can rebel against a neo-liberal school system. With the film, Hjort Guttu won the KNF Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) in 2021.
Ane Hjort Guttu is an artist and a professor of Contemporary Art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She works in different media, but has in recent years concentrated on film and video works, ranging from investigative documentary to poetic fiction. Hjort Guttu is also active as a writer and curator. You can read the full article here.
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