Temporary School – Portico di Piazza Gramsci, Milano

Temporary School – A Collective Work – 23/29 maggio 2012, Portico di Piazza Gramsci, Milano

Workshop di Sreshta Rit Premnath in collaborazione con Sintetico curated by Maria Rosa Sossai (ALA)

Over a period of a week “Temporary School” at Piazza Antonio Gramsci in Milan aims to reflect on and create a space for artistic collaboration and education. Taking our cue from Antonio Gramsci’s concept of a “philosophy of praxis”, we believe that all individuals have the ability to critically engage with the world through their particular practice – be it art, architecture or anything else – and produce a positive social change.

By beginning with the particular social backgrounds and intellectual interests of each participant and physically transforming their “private archives” – those materials and objects that are relevant to their individual lives and social history – together we hope to create a new kind of social space within Piazza Gramsci. Our aim will therefore be to provide the environment and impetus necessary for participants in the Temporary School to create something new with materials and ideas that are already intimately meaningful in their lives.

We will also draw from Edward Said’s suggestion of the importance of “amateurism” – an activity that results from spontaneous enthusiasm without any professional goals, awards or higher authority to answer to. Temporary School does away with the hierarchy between “artist” and “non-artist” as well as teacher and student, and in its place creates an environment of sharing and creating rather than teaching. The artist Sreshta Rit Premnath and curator Maria Rosa Sossai both from ALA Group will serve the role of instigators who guide and provoke the participants rather than teachers or judges.

By making the walls of the school that usually separate the private space of theoretical education and the public space of practical social activity as thin as possible we hope to bring these two intertwined aspects of our social existence and artistic practice closer together. With this aim in mind we will use the walls that contain the Temporary School to voice personal questions of the participants to the general public. We hope that in a simple way this will allow the theoretical debates within the school to resonate outwards and effect those who pass through the space.