The Art Academy of Latvia announces POST, a new interdisciplinary specialization of master’s degree programme in art, based on art in context. The programme seeks to explore and examine how it is possible to study art today, while being simultaneously in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe, a region with different borders, characterised by a changing environment and a rich experience regarding the forced use of global ideologies and their collapse. Taking into account the cultural, historical and geopolitical contexts and the artistic processes attached to them, we are in an environment of unique experiences. MA POST can be perceived as an open study space for various ideas and experiments, moving along in the zigzagged relief of theory and practice. The structure of this degree programme consists of three interacting blocks: Practice, Theory and Context.

The key objective of the Practice Block is to shape and reconstruct individual artistic practice. The programme offers time, space and support for the analysis and development of practice, expecting the student to be involved in motivated, self-organised activity in the studio or outside it. The teaching methodology aims to provide each student with the support of two practical study tutors and the discomfort that promotes creativity. International experience of the lecturers and personal practice that covers various art media provide a comprehensive and multifaceted critical contribution to the study process. The course brings into focus individual thinking, analysis and self-reflection, while applying skills, knowledge and a critical view.

Great emphasis is put on the experiments and interpretation in the search for the form of expression, regardless of whether the form is material or immaterial, three-dimensional or two-dimensional, digital or performative, puritanical or hedonistic, etc. The new degree speciality is aimed at capturing ideas that could be viewed or experienced in the form of an exhibition at the end of each study year, in exhibition projects outside the academy as well as in the final exhibition after two years of study.

Theory block consists of three parts: Critical Theory & Art, Creative and Uncreative Writing as well as Academic and Practice Writing.

The Critical Theory and Art course offers a range of theoretical perspectives that shape the discourses of art and visual culture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, exploring the intersection of artistic practice and theoretical and political ideas. The course is based on trauma and memory studies, gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, critical race theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, posthumanism, ecocriticism and new historicism. An equally important role in the course is given to regional research, which critically evaluates what is happening in the Baltic, Eastern European and Northern European regions. The Creative and Uncreative Writing course takes a look at the diversity of text and visuality relationships in contemporary culture, referring to contemporary art and literature. It involves reading both creative and critical texts as well as working on creative tasks.

The Context Block aims to explore random or deliberately selected, interconnected fragments of circumstances, events, facts and experiences that may prove fundamentally necessary or, on the contrary, superfluous, in order to approach the possibility of comprehending the meaning of the aggregate or causal relationships in art. The Context Block offers a closer look at various aspects that can influence the work of art or an artist – culturally, politically, socially, economically, geographically, institutionally and in other ways. This section of the course takes the students on a journey to three enigmatic planets: the artist’s planet, the work of art’s planet and the viewer’s planet. How free are we or can we be in this space?

The block consists of four parts: practical involvement in the creation of exhibitions and exhibiting in an environment outside the academy are covered in the Exitus section; supplementing the experience through educational excursions and group visits to museums and exhibitions are part of the Excursions section; a platform for generating unexpected creative lines, delivering new and unpredictable impulses in creative activity is discussed in the Out of Context section; creative activity in connection with career development and commercial understanding of the field is viewed in the Creative Industries section.

The syllabus of the POST degree programme is provided by tutors whose backgrounds cover the fields of poetry, philosophy, graphic design, painting, sculpture, music and other areas of art and theory–  Kristaps Ancāns, Ieva Astahovska, Atis Jākobsons, Artis Ostups, Jānis Ozoliņš, Gļebs Panteļejevs, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Armands Zelčs and Amanda Ziemele. Every two years, students from Latvia and abroad who have completed their bachelor’s degree and have a wide range of interests, skills, beliefs and an unfocused view of the purpose of life are invited to apply for the programme. Students who lack a portrait in a landscape, sound in still life and movement on a pedestal.

Students’ application for admission to the POST master’s degree programme for 2021/2023 will be open from 20 April 2021 to 15 June 2021. More information about the admission rules and process as well as the programme is available click HERE.