lectures and writings

topics about artistic creativity and reception of visuals arts, constantly since 2002 in various courses, lectures and workshops in different countries, as well as writings in Romanian language (see biographia).

Art topics and methods. Art as a pathway to cognition and communication

The world is a beautiful book,
but of little use to him who cannot read it.

(Carlo Goldoni)

There are a lot of writings about art, artistic process and the reception of art, about the rules, the norms and the specific values, different from a society to the other, from a generation to the other. Independent from any aesthetical theory or scientific research, an artistic work is based on the fundamental need of the human being to convey meaning and to communicate meanings. Creating art opens the possibility to employ the urge of (self-)expression and to increase this fundamental need for exchanging knowledge and experience.

Understanding the world as an art work and the existence of a human being as a creative action, explaining art in a deeper expressive relationship with the environment, is the main subject of many current models and theories.  But those who “cannot read” remain strangers to any meaning (of the world). And the first idea that appears as a consequence is the necessity of education, especially as a development of conscience, that means to enhance personal competence and acquire new knowledge.

Elementary studies of cognitive psychology show us that people feel good in situations they understand or discover as meaningful by their own capacity to learn and appropriate. Learning produces transformations in the self-structure and self-perception. In processing information, people depend in multiple ways on the physical, psychological and social context and they constantly adapt to these contexts. Actually it is this very perspective that enables art to reveal its therapeutical and educational impact: artistic products and representations can yield possibilities for experience and existence, and art mediates meaning, including by using nonsense.

Although art, pedagogy of art and art therapy have common characteristics in the attempts to reach a satisfying meaning and (self-)expression, there are also substantial differences between these fields. Pedagogy of art focuses on the role in education, and art therapy provides incentives for healing. By contrast, art as a cultural domain has the primary goal of fulfilling its critical potential rather than serving as a creative or educative propaedeutics. The work of art claims the quality of transcending our personal lives, reflecting and forming at the same time the spirit of the era, preceding the spirit of an era.

But it should be pointed out that we live in a time when psychological endeavours thrive more than ever before, and art seems to focus less on its critical potential and more and more on a missionary propaedeutics. Art seems to be absorbed by art therapy, and art education by the ideology that “everything can be art”. So many people discover themselves as artists by the simple creative gesture of self-expression, and many artists discover themselves as healers in following the need of communication rather than aesthetical criteria. (...)

Excerpt from the lecture at the European workshop: Professional instruction in pedagogy of art and special education, Kölner Institut für Kulturarbeit und Weiterbildung, Cologne, 28.-30.10.2011 (original in German) / Experts in dialog - workshop in cooperation with Dr. Rabea Müller - Akademie artig