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2017 course programme

Why produce art?

The 2017 motto is the general, fundamental question Why produce art? – a question which goes straight to the heart of the Summer Academy as an institution, but which also demands an individual answer from every creative artist. What does it mean, to produce art today? What is the attitude of art towards the socio-political situation? Why do we still keep on learning and teaching art? Why do we need an International Summer Academy of Fine Arts where anyone
can attend – art students, artists, writers, curators, as well as art-lovers – all equally keen to concentrate on specific questions about their own art production?

Art always entails exploring the world we
live in; for many, however, it represents a refuge, a place of total immersion, allowing us to merge with it or with particular situations. Art sharpens our perception. Art is a means of (political) expression – and much more. In an age when
the talk is so often of crisis (economic, financial, climate, European, political, democracy in crisis...), of the “burnout society” (Byung-Chul Han), of increasing overload, perhaps also the alienation of many people, there arises a longing for what is “authentic”. Sometimes we need concentrated situations which not only seem manageable, but which we can influence, in order to open up new perspectives and options for action.

The Summer Academy is just such a place,
where teachers and students explore clearly stated questions, where importance is accorded to the creativity of all participants, where the focus is
on art production, theory and education. During the six-week period, some 300 students from more than 50 countries work for between one and four weeks, mostly in Hohensalzburg Fortress. The teachers, who usually come two years running, do not hold professorships at European academies of art; they are all active and successful in the global field of art. Directing the workshops is part of their artistic, curatorial or literary work. The Summer Academy has no curriculum, it is non-academic; all those who teach or study here are fired by enthusiasm, so that our programme is hallmarked by intensity and diversity.