‘The Dirty Art Department offers itself as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action.
It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, and the holy and the profane.
It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and other people and ourselves.
It’s a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings, or galaxies.
The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it seeks however to reject the Kantian division between the pure and the applied.
Since ‘god is dead’ and ‘the spectacle’ is omnipresent, it sees the creation of alternative and new realities as the way to reconsider our life situation on this planet.
The Dirty Art Department is open to students from all backgrounds including designers, artists, bankers, skeptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and the curious.
Please enjoy the trip’
In 2009, four cowboys, Catherine Geel, Clémence Seilles, Stephane Barbier-Bouvet and Jerszy Seymour, wandering through the deserted plains of meaning, got together with a burning feeling that something needed to happen.
Feeling that the school as a rocket ship blasting through the galaxies was the right place, and appreciating the history of radical school projects from Steiner to Bauhaus, Black Mountain College to Global Tools, and the contemporaries of United Nations Plaza, Bruce High Quality Foundation and Mountain School of Art, they formed themselves as Nuclear Banana ‘a launch pad for things, people and ideas’ and started to discuss.
Meanwhile in 1924, the merger of three schools in Amsterdam came to form the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs. From 1939 to 1960, the program was heavily influenced by the functionalist and socio-critical ideas, partly thanks to the role of the socialist architect Mart Stam, who has been the director of the program. In 1968 the name was changed to the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. In 1995 the Sandberg Instituut was founded as the masters program of the Rietveld Academy.
In 2010 the Sandberg Instituut made the invitation and The Dirty Art Department was founded in 2011. It received official accreditation as a masters program from the Dutch government in 2012. The rocket ship is ready to blast off and the concept of wandering star and rationalist platform was no accident.
The Dirty Art Department sets out with a focus to develop singular practices positioned with in (or out) of society that are separate to medium or subject, and to give an insight of how to place that practice into the different existing contexts of art, design, performance, writing, pizza making etc. It understands a project as a thesis with a leap. The eventual challenge is how to create new context, that is the transformation of reality. Concerned with our way of inhabiting the planet and therefore also our way of inhabiting the mind, the department promotes a strong theoretical and philosophical agenda and is open to dangerous attempts and spectacular failures in practice. The Dirty Art Department see itself as a trip, and it remembers that where ever it lands, ‘Any Space Is The Place’ and fertile ground to just do it!
tel 0031 205882402
Dirty Art Department
Fred. Roeskestraat 98
NL–1076 ED Amsterdam
Applications for the 2024-2026 program will open in the first week of January 2024.
The application deadline is April 1, 2024.
Jerszy Seymour is a designer whose work spans from industrial and post-industrial produced objects, actions, interventions and installations. He sees his work as the creation of situations that seek to expand utopian possibilities defined with the idea of the non-gesamt gesamt kunstwerk.
His work has been presented in many museums and institutions and is held in many permanent collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, MAK, Vienna, Kunsthaus Glarus, the Vitra Design Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Marta Herford, Mudam Luxembourg, Fondation Lafayette and the ‘Fonds National d’ Art Contemporain’ France. In parallel he has created objects for design companies such as Magis, Vitra and Kreo and has taught and given lectures and workshops at many schools including the Royal College of Art, UdK , Domus Academy, La Sapienza, Eindhoven Academy, Berlin Program for Artists, Hfg Karlsruhe and Saarbrucken, Cranbrook Academy, Ecal Lausanne and the HEAD in Geneva.
Florence Parot is a Parisian curator, based in Amsterdam. Curator at the Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou from 2003 to march 2017, she was in charge of the video collection and initiates numerous of exhibitions, screenings, lectures and performances. Florence Parot has founded iso Amsterdam with Dajo Bodisco in 2018. They believe in the potential of bringing together a wide variety of disciplines in a mainly open communal warehouse. On top of offering a stimulating production environment with thirty individual and shared ateliers, a residence and a large workshop, ISO runs a public program with exhibitions, lectures, workshops and events, giving a stage for both internal and external artists, local and international. iso engages the worlds of art, design and craft. iso is an applied situation for artist, designer and craftsman. ISO is a living organism; as such it looks different from one day to the next.
Anna Reutinger (b. 1991 in Oakland, California) is based between Berlin and Brussels. Her practice combines sculpture, installation and performance to promote craft as seed for social, material and environmental sensitivity. Using nearby secondhand/organic material, research and social input, she creates site-specific works with historical retellings, material reformulations and collective reimaginings.
She is a tutor in the Dirty Art Department at the Sandberg Instituut where she also received her M.A. in 2016 after a B.A. in Design Media Arts and Digital Humanities at UCLA in 2013. She has held residence at Triangle – Astérides, Marseille, FR—Rupert, Vilnius, LT—and Jan van Eyck, Maastricht, NL. Her work has been exhibited at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Saint Etienne Biennale, FR—MKG Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, DE—W139, De Fabriek, NL—KlaraKiss Zipspace, CH—Macao Milano, IT—The Hammer Museum, The Getty Center, The New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles, US.
Catherine Somzé (1977, Brussels) obtained her BA in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid. She completed a MA in Film and Television Studies at the International School for Humanities and Social Sciences as well as an MA in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Critical Studies undergraduate program at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, where she also teaches courses on the theory and history of modern art and cinema. Catherine is a PhD student with the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies. Her research is geared towards understanding the significance of social media data for the work of future historians. As an art critic, she has written for a number of national and international publications among which Time Out and Flash Art.
Kirtis Clarke works between in Amsterdam and London and has an interdisciplinary practice characterised by an ongoing investigation into subjects related to rootedness, migration and collective ways of working. Working across performance, sculpture, digital media and archiving, encounters with other artists, friends, family and members of the black diaspora aid in developing new methodologies for creating work rooted in a collective sense of identity. In 2022, Kirtis expands this research focus at Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam) in the formation of Co-Instituut, a new research trajectory concerned with developing and consolidating new and existing co-created practices and methodologies. Joining up with a scatter of artists, activists and designers, Side Pattern archives a series of inter-scale advocacy projects, posts and publications that work between the lines, inside the underbelly and far outside institutional frameworks. They mediate around The Side as a site for engaging with new forms of collective and community focussed artistic production efforts. His most recent work, Lifetimes Lived Apart (2021), a visual essay demonstrating a narrative-driven approach through a constellation of reference material, abstract forms, films and audio, becomes a means by which fragmented diasporic knowledge can re-exist in tandem. Alongside a large-scale sculptural triptych under the same title, in 2022 the work is presented in the courtyard of Black Cultural Archives (London) following features at Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), HOME x Saint Ogun 1 Year Anniversary Exhibition (London), and the ICF Diaspora Pavilion 2 at Block 336 (London).
Since 2018 the artist and designer Carolin Gieszner and Théo Demans, both of whom currently live and work in Brussels, are co-creating the visceral universe of ‘touche-touche’.
Their work is based on creating dream-like, scenographic experiences as a free fall of tangible reality. With a focus on a liberated form of craftsmanship, creating sculptures and immersive installations, their work evokes new fictions for daily scenarios that deepen the sensual relationship we have with our surroundings. Each imagined scene is a reinterpretation of existing cultural traditions and techniques.
Their work has been shown at the 59th Venice Art Bienale, Haus der Kunst Munich, 7th Athens Biennale, Nationaltheatre Mannheim, WIELS, Salone del Mobile, Design Museum Ghent, MKG Hamburg, K11 Art Foundation, Stedelijk Museum and other. Gieszner and Demans have been co-hosting artist residencies and ran divers projectspaces in the past. They are currently represented by Everyday Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium.
Daniel Dewar is part of the artist duo Dewar and Gicquel together with Gregory Gicquel. Daniel was born in 1976 in Forest Dean, UK and lives and works in Brussels.
From tapestry weaving to granite carving, from chain sawing to firing ceramics, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel’s artistic lexicon creates a joyful— albeit erudite—hodgepodge of types. Though the artists constantly quote pop culture references, thereby casually shrugging off the prevailing aesthetic canons and good taste, they do, however, take their place in the history of sculpture, from its ancient origins to the post-industrial era. The motifs they use throughout their work borrow as much from medieval recumbent effigies as from a form of abstraction developed by certain artists in the latter half of the 20th century. Accordingly, the series Mixed Ceramics (2011) bears resemblances to some of Arman’s archeological sculptures: In both cases, the texture of the found objects indicates a common interest in forms of sedimentation, thus producing a collusion of temporalities.
They are represented by Galerie Loevenbruck in Paris and are the recipient of the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2012.
Defined as ‘post-conceptual’, Saâdane Afif’s work is about interpretation, exchange and circulation. It takes multiple forms (performance, objects, sculptures, text, posters and works in neon) with the exhibition as a pretext for production or activation. For a show in Essen in 2004, he asked Lili Reynaud Dewar to write a song inspired by his artwork; this was the beginning of the series called Lyrics for which he displaces his authorship and collaborates with other artists or writers. The texts or statements are often transferred to the walls using holographic self-adhesive paper. Afif’s practice is rooted in music: scores, instruments, amplifiers, speakers, microphones, concerts are part of his vocabulary or media. Other recurring interests include the passing of time (skulls, clocks), appropriation, remakes or repetitions and the displacement of meaning, and the critique of institutions. In 2010 Afif wrote: “My work today does not rely on the object: it is developed through the accumulation or interweaving of elements that can be more or less visible.”
Saâdane Afif’s first solo show was in Tours in France in 1998. He was awarded the Prix Marcel Duchamp, which led to an exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in 2010. His work is exhibited internationally and was included in Documenta 12, Kassel, in 2007. A solo show will take place in 2013 at IAC, Villeurbanne, France. Blue Time vs. Suspense was his first exhibition at Xavier Hufkens in 2007.
Saâdane Afif was born in Vendôme, France, in 1970. He lives and works in Berlin.