Art Department

Created in 2009, the Art Department of the Universidad Di Tella is a novel project for Buenos Aires insofar as it provides a university space for production of and reflection on contemporary art. The vision underlying the project is an effort to tie the tradition of experimentation of the Instituto Di Tella’s Centro de Artes Visuales (1963-1969) and the academic excellence of the Universidad Di Tella.

The Art Department’s curriculum encompasses:
• the Artists’ Program
• the Documentary Project
• courses and studio classes
• exhibition series
• seminars and symposia

These programs are geared to artists, curators, and critics in training who want to work in a context committed to intellectual and creative stimulation.

The professors engage in constant dialogue with the participating artists. Their varied approaches to contemporary art encompass critical analysis, historical knowledge, theoretical discussion, and experimentation. Faculty members in 2014 will be Jorge Macchi, Javier Villa, Santiago García Navarro, Karina Peisajovich, Marcelo Pombo, Eduardo Stupía, Matías Duville, Alberto Goldenstein, Claudio Iglesias, Graciela Speranza, Alejandro Meitin, Lars Bang Larsen, and Martí Manen.

Together, we hope to transform artistic culture by means of a commitment to education that rethinks the definition of art and its role in contemporary society.


Artists' Program

The Artists’ Program, which was founded in 2009, is a year-long educational project. Originally opened only to artists, since 2013 the program has welcomed a group of approximately six young curators and /or critics interested in contemporary art. The aim of this change in structure is to provide young curators and artists with an opportunity to engage in exchange in a process that explores their distinct positions, roles, and alliances on the basis of shared spaces, ideas, and projects.

The premise for this intersection of theory and practice, artists and critics/curators is to enrich artistic practices with the perspective of critics and curators and to provide critics and curators with the opportunity to connect with the thinking and methodologies of their artist peers.

No previous degree is required to apply. The application consists of a portfolio of works on the basis of which an admission committee selects participants.

With the exception of seminars given by international professors, the program is given in Spanish.

Curriculum design:

The year-long critique class is the cornerstone of the program. The professors of this class are an artist and a curator/critic.

Artists participating in the Artists’ Program also take part in three (quarterly) studio classes and a minimum of four (monthly) theory seminars that they choose from a menu of options. 

 In addition to the year-long critique class, the participating critics/curators take part in one writing workshopsix theory classes, and seminars with international professors. They are responsible for producing a series of written works produced under the supervision of their tutors.

Documentary Project

This is a workshop for filmmakers, writers, photographers, and visual artists geared to the creation of documentaries.

The documentary is one of the most vital areas of contemporary film and art. The richness of this genre lies in the process of research and production that it entails. In this workshop, emphasis is placed on the creative formulation of projects and on the critical and constructive tracking of each participant’s process as he or she develops the project.

Each participant is expected to do research on a topic and then to develop it by means of writing exercises. Further study entails research into different film, sound, photographic, narrative, and performance materials pertinent to the topic chosen.

Works fundamental to documentary practice are studied and special guests (both filmmakers and visual artists) are invited to share their experiences.

Theory Workshops and Courses

Workshops

Much contemporary art education is based on the critical, speculative or contemplative analysis of a work in progress by a professor. The workshops in our program consciously formulate a pedagogical alternative to that model by focusing on group immersion in techniques. The premise is training, production, specific thought.

Each workshop meets twelve times and revolves around the idea of an exercise in which students are asked to leave their individual production aside to delve into individual or group research in techniques, ideas, and resources foreign to their prior production.

Enrollment in workshops is open to students in the Artists’ Program and others interested in participating.

Curatorial Studies and Art Criticism

This program, which began in 2013 as a new phase of the Artists’ Program, is intended to be an intensive experience in different modes of production and discussion pertinent to the visual arts. It is geared to providing participants with critical and curatorial tools crucial to working in contemporary art.

No degree is required to enroll, but it is envisioned for those who have studied or hold degrees in art history, art, literature, philosophy, communication, or architecture. In all cases, participants must show an interest in developing critical skills to think, interpret, assess, and exhibit different facets of the visual art.

Unlike most curatorial programs, this one not only attempts to convey knowledge on theory and on the history of art and exhibitions, but also to provide a shared experience with a group of active artists. As such, it formulates total and collaborative immersion in artists’ processes, procedures, and ideas.

This exchange is the crux of the program. It is designed as training in inter-subjective negotiation and dialogue, which it conceives as central.

International Professors

On the basis of alliances with foreign art institutions and in an effort to complement the work of the local professors, this program invites foreign professors to teach an intensive seminar as part of the department’s activities.

These seminars are geared to participants in the Artists’ Program and other members of the local art community interesting in enrolling. The visit usually includes a lecture open to the public where the guest discusses his or her work and its development before an audience of local artists, curators, critics, and historians.

This exchange with thinkers and creators from other countries is fundamental to the department’s mission of rethinking the definition of contemporary art and its practices in Argentina.

In 2012, the following visiting artists taught in the program: Tracey Emin (England), Renata Lucas (Brazil), Santiago Sierra (Spain), and Franz Ackermann (Germany). Visiting curators were Sofía Hernández Chong-Cuy (United States/Mexico), Ariel Jiménez (Venezuela), and Paulo Hernkenhoff (Brazil).

In 2013, we were visited by curators Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico), Chus Martínez  (Spain/USA), Manuela Moscoso (Ecuador/Brazil), and Mariano Mayer (Argentina/Spain); and artists Guillaume Leblon (France), David Bestué (Spain), Yael Davids (Israel/Brazil), Adriano Costa (Brazil), Karl Holmqvist (Sweden), and Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento (USA).

In 2014, the following curators and theorists will teach in the program: Lars Bang Larsen (Denmark), Martí Manen (Spain/Sweden), Bruce Altshuler (USA) and Raimundas Malasauskas (Lithuania/France).

Exhibitions

In the interest of generating a space for research into and production of experimental art, the Art Department holds an annual series of exhibitions at a large gallery on the university’s premises. These events are open to the public and feature experimental works by students, Argentine and foreign artists, and special guests.

The aims of the exhibition program are:

- to grant Argentine and foreign artists, regardless of whether they are affiliated with the university’s programs, with funds to produce new, experimental, and interdisciplinary works that are rarely found in traditional spaces for the circulation and exhibition of art.
- to afford young Argentine artists in the Artists’ Program with hands-on experience in the production of a museum-quality exhibition.
- to provide artists and curators with the opportunity to experiment and envision their work in relation to a specific space.
- to encourage debate between different curatorial models.

- to provide the community at large with access to excellent works and exhibitions whose experimental and pedagogical nature stimulates intellectual debate .

Support

To make our programs affordable, they are subsidized by contributions from individuals, companies, and foundations that believe, as we do, in the importance of education as a means to generate Latin American art with greater commitment to contemporary forms of knowledge, debate, and experimentation.

The Art Department is funded on an ongoing basis by the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella and the Fundación Torcuato Di Tella; it has also received support from the Foundation for Arts Iniciatives (USA), the Fundación arteBA and Ernesto Catena Vineyards.

In 2012 was created the Círculo de Amigos of the Universidad Di Tella Art Department. This organization, which consists of a group of private donors, has contributed to furthering the program’s activities.

On three different occasions, the Art Department’s programs have been declared activities of interest by Mecenazgo Cultural, a project of the Buenos Aires city government that selects cultural initiatives for tax-deductible contributions from corporate donors.

Scholarship Fund

Thanks to donations, we have been able to make tuition affordable to local artists.

The program requires full-time commitment. By offering excellent post-graduate education at low tuition, we ensure that all interested individuals, regardless of their economic situation, feel they can apply.

International Agreements

In the interest of making the Artists’ Program more international, the Art Department has signed agreements with two Latin American institutions that grant scholarships to young artists from their countries so that they can travel to Buenos Aires and participate in the program.

Thanks to scholarships from the Fundación Iberé Camargo of Porto Alegre (Brazil), Brazilian artists Cristiano Lenhardt participated in the program in September 2011 and Fernanda Gassen in 2012.

Thanks to scholarships from MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima Peru), Peruvian artists Emilio Vargas Vera participated in the program in 2011 and Luis Antonio Torres Villar in 2012. Pursuant to selection by a bi-national jury, each artist took part in the Artists’ Program for a period of three months.

Son Sard Trust, one of the only funds in Argentina that helps women artists fund studies in Europe, decided to allocated one of its fellowships through the Artists’ Program.

Director

Inés Katzenstein was awarded a master’s degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York in 2001 pursuant to studies funded by the Fundación Antorchas and the Fondo Nacional de las Artes. She has written extensively on contemporary art. The major exhibitions she has curated include Liliana Porter: Fotografía y ficción (Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, 2003), David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Ètranger, Aüslander (Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, 2005); she co-curated Televisión, El Di Tella y un episodio en la vida de la TV (Espacio Telefónica, 2010).

She was the curator of the Argentine pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, where she presented the project Guillermo Kuitca, If I Were Winter Itself. She co-curated Zona Franca, MERCOSUR Biennial, 2007.

Her publications include the book Listen, Here, Now! Argentine Art of the Sixties: Writings of the Avant-Garde, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2004, which was translated into Spanish and published by MoMA in conjunction with Fundación Espigas and Fundación Proa (2007).

She won awards from the Argentine Association of Art Critics in 1997 and 2006 for an essay on Pablo Siquier and an interview with Marcelo Pombo, respectively.

From 2004 to 2008, she was the curator at Malba-Fundación Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, where her activities included developing the collection of contemporary art.

She sits on the advisory board to the magazine Otra Parte de Artes y Letras.

 

Board of External Advisors 
Sofía Hernández Chong-Cuy, Liliana Porter, Robert Storr

Advisory Board
Andrés Di Tella (president), Jorge Francisco Liernur, Guillermo Ueno

Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts Board
Mónica Giron, Guillermo Kuitca, Jorge Macchi, Pablo Siquier

For further information, write arte@utdt.edu