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Where do we stand? – Course programme of the 2019 International Summer Academy

  • 7 February 2019

190208_Press folder_en

Press release
Course programme 22 July–31 August 2019


Course programme of the 2019 Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts


Where do we stand?


The 2019 programme, under the motto “Where do we stand?” is diverse and unique in its global orientation. For instance, Ei Arakawa and Sarah Chow deal with questions of magic in the fields of installation and performance; Paulina Olowska takes alchemy as her starting-point for painting; Michael Beutler goes into the fundamentals of sculpture and installation, while Sammy Baloji and Lotte Arndt look for hidden (colonial) histories in (museum) collections.


Asking “Where do we stand?”, we take stock of our status quo, which always implies the inclusion of present and future. Thus the expanded motto refers to Gauguin’s famous painting D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? – except that, rather than “Where do we stand?”, Gauguin asks “What are we?” – a question which presupposes a universally valid and thus a-historical human being, a concept in many ways eroded today. Thus “Where do we stand?” asks for a political stance, and particularly for its echo in art, for an artistic position.


This year, 18 courses, all (with two exceptions) held in Hohensalzburg Fortress, are devoted in diverse ways to these questions. The themes are past, present and future, and thus the historical connection of our present and our future.


All three questions apply to all courses and all participants. Every creative artist asks him/herself what the roots of his/her art are, where he/she stands today with his/her art in relation to other creative artists, as well as to the political situation. They all come to the Summer Academy in order to reflect on the future of their own production, and to try out new directions.


Where do we come from?

The course Hunting and collecting is directed by Sammy Baloji and Lotte Arndt, who seek traces of colonial history in Salzburg; here participants will work with historical material and research. In her course Context is everything, montage too, Eli Cortiñas works with found footage which already contains traces of history, and Imran Qureshi teaches Miniature painting, a centuries-old technique in which part of the training involves copying old miniatures, and is thus deeply historical.


Where do we stand?

Svenja Deininger, Paulina Olowska and Tobias Pils focus on burning issues in painting; Ciara Phillips and Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair practise diverse printing techniques; Ei Arakawa with Sarah Chow, Michael Beutler and Yorgos Sapountzis work in the fields of installation, sculpture and scenic design. Massinissa Selmani asks about the topicality of drawing, and Jakob Kolding deals with collage. Cameron Jamie produces artist’s books with the students, and Karin Reichmuth directs her first course in the Untersberg quarry.

Curatorial theory and practice is taught this year by Marina Fokidis, editor of the magazine South as a State of Mind, and Nicolaus Schafhausen, director of the Vienna Kunsthalle until the end of March. Kimberly Bradley teaches how pictures can be expressed in words.


Magic and alchemy

In summer 2018, Caroline Achaintre’s course explored the idea of animism; this year, magic meets the conceptual. In Ei Arakawa’s course with Sarah Chow, esoteric knowledge systems (e.g. astrology, tarot), supernatural phenomena, pre-modern rituals and illusionism will be explored and linked to modern western Weltanschauung and science, in order to critique the condition of our modern society. Paulina Olowska addresses alchemistic painting, which mixes various familiar elements to create something completely new – perhaps even gold? We believe that in a thoroughly rationalised world in which art can actively integrate and develop other knowledge systems, it can also include magical thinking and ancient sciences such as alchemy.


Where are we going?

Besides the course programme, which continues the project Planetary Academy with teachers from all over the world, the 2019 programme of events will focus on the same theme. A publication with the working title Navigating the Planetary is planned for 2020 – a book edited by Hildegund Amanshauser and Kimberly Bradley, pursuing further the ideas discussed in the 2016 and 2018 conferences.


Global Academy

Transcultural learning has always been carried on at the Summer Academy; however, since its foundation by the painter Oskar Kokoschka in 1953, the methods and content have continued to develop. The International Summer Academy sees itself as a global academy, inviting teachers from all over the world to direct courses with students who come from up to 50 different countries.

The Global Academy project aims to establish the Summer Academy as a hotspot for global art, raising burning questions about global art and reinforcing networks with other institutions worldwide, particularly with the Global South.

The project – developed on the basis of the 2011 Global Art conference – was first presented to the public in 2016, with the Global Academy? symposium, which focused on the question of how to learn and teach art in the globalised world.

We continued the project in 2017 with lectures discussing art scenes in various Asian countries. In 2018, the large-scale conference Global Academy II addressed examples of transcultural artistic exchange. How can we understand one another? What models exist? What might the future look like? Where do we want to go?


Detailed descriptions of courses and biographies of the teaching artists and writers are available at:


Application, grants, deadlines, fees
Course fees are between € 450 and € 1,200, depending on duration. Some 80 grants will be awarded. Applications for grants should be submitted (online only) by 3 April 2018.


All applications received by 2 May 2018 will be treated equally. Later applications are welcome, and will be processed in the order received, according to vacancies in the courses.


Press photos may be downloaded here:


For further details, please contact
Simone Rudolph
Communications & assistant to the director, T +43 662 842113-14