• Issue
  • May 01, 2022

Bad Students, Gudskuls

Exterior view of GUDSKUL, Jakarta, 2020. Courtesy Gudskul and documenta fifteen, Kassel.

From Germany’s Bauhaus, which placed equal value on craft, industrial design, and fine arts, to India’s Santiniketan, where an anticolonial, transnational perspective was promulgated, the radical art schools of the early 20th century catalyzed the modernist movements in today’s art-history textbooks. In the postwar era, alternative pedagogical initiatives took a more informal stance by disavowing degrees altogether. These unaccredited programs include Black Mountain College, which launched in the 1930s in the United States and encouraged self-directed education and community responsibility, as well as Joseph Beuys’s Free International University, an interdisciplinary forum conceived in the early 1970s for charting the future of society, through which the artist sought to counter the effects of war, violence, and disenchantment.