Saturday, December 29, 2012

Curiouser and curiouser

I like to tell my new Year 7 students that artists know stuff. This, of course, extends to teachers of art, art critics and historians. We know stuff. And that is why being an artist/art student/critic/historian/art teacher is so fascinating.

I love art theory. Art tells us about the world in so many ways. However, I'm yet to work out the exact equation that will make my students love theory as much as I do. For the time being I try to make my content and examples as interesting and current as possible. Art theory is not easy for students, I know. I love the following quote by Stuart Hall from Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies (1992). The quote begins Anne D'Alleva's Methods & Theories of Art History (2005).

I want to suggest a different metaphor for theoretical work: the metaphor of struggle, of wrestling with the angels. The only theory worth having is that which you have to fight off, not that which you speak with profound fluency.

A reassuring quote also, as it indicates that having my head in the books during christmas break in anticipation of teaching HSC art historical and critical studies for 2013 is OK. I do feel I am wrestling at the moment - I'm not sure it is with angels, however. I'll keep you informed.

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