Mittlung neu denken (in English: Rethinking Art Education) is an international, collaborative, and practice-based research project organised by the KinderKunstLabor, which is hosting an inaugural residency programme in 2023 as part of its own founding, inception, and formation. A new building designed by Schenker Salvi Weber Architects will open in 2024 in Altoona Park in the Lower Austrian capital of St. Pölten and is set to become a unique hub for international contemporary art, children, and artists. Geared toward children up to twelve years of age, the new venue will offer two exhibitions a year, a children’s biennial, and a variety of thematically interrelated workshops and projects.
For young audiences in particular, the quality, event-based character, and topicality of contemporary art productions by international artists have the capacity to set in motion both individual educational processes and socially relevant reflections. What fundamental changes to established art education practices are needed to tap into this potential? With this question in mind, fellows selected by an expert jury will examine the potentialities of contemporary art for and with young audiences.
The KinderKunstLabor is a learning institution. Experiences and insights from educational processes are applied to the realm of art education and curating in a certification centre developed specifically for this purpose in cooperation with a university network. This is achieved with the RiR through an examination of current discourses and practices that are focused on phenomenological approaches, spatial aspects in art production, curating and art education for and with children. Closely intertwined with this, fellows will conceive and implement qualitatively based research projects that accompany ongoing projects of the KinderKunstLabor.
The fellowship offers researchers from the EU active in the fields of contemporary art, curating, and education the opportunity to live and work in St. Pölten for a period of nine months with possible extension. The centre invites researchers with different artistic and theoretical practices to apply. Artistic expertise or experience with aesthetic processes and in-depth knowledge of the art field are a prerequisite. A sound command of the German language is essential. The fellowship is also aimed at students pursuing a doctorate or PhD. Priority will be given to research proposals developed in relation to and in dialogue with the specific, on-the-ground realities of the location. Fellows will have access to institutional infrastructures and are expected to present their findings at an event at the end of their stay.
The residency includes travel, accommodation, a stipend, and production costs (for relevant research, printing, or similar expenses).