Internal Necessity is the working maxim and conceptual jingle for a ten-day academy addressing professional needs that are specific to the contemporary art field. Along with many a philosophical, historical and economic consideration, the notion of Internal Necessity evokes the idea of retreat and recuperation, and is thus all the more poignant in a context of ferocious market pressures and creeping ideological exhaustion. With the implosion of the investigatory promise of biennials, artist-run spaces and other traditional oases, settings such as our Sommerakademie are becoming important venues for examining one’s working criteria with more rigor than the standard venue allows.
Generally speaking, if the fundamental question is ‘how can we use academies and other art-institutional structures to our ends’, then the Sommerakademie will need to ask which “we” is being referred to, what is the precise nature of the “structures” at hand, and which “ends” are at stake. To begin with, how can an experimental educational setting differ from a traditional art school, or from a vocational centre for professional excellence. In practical terms, the Sommerakademie will confront these questions by exploring historical and ideological developments in art school history, along with the theoretical considerations and experiences of present practitioners, and the contradictory effects of the Bologna Process on schooling in general – and arts education in particular. Theoretical issues must include the notion of labour that is now propagated in art institutions. Is art labour like any other, or are the arts condemned to be textbook examples of post-fordist working patterns, celebrating socioprofessional uncertainty on all levels.
In practical terms, the Sommerakademie 2009 offers a two day excursion and hands-on workshops on the prerequisite skills of recent art practice - such as public speaking as form and technique. Moreover, the fellows are invited to present their work and share their preoccupations with the speakers or the general public. Although splendidly isolationist at first glance the Sommerakademie 2009 is rigorously contextualized. It reaches back to the Sommerakademie 2008, which addressed the physical and conceptual associations of “cultural confinement” and the “underground”, while in the choice of the programme, a strong emphasis is placed on the environment. It even draws on our host, the ZPK, as institutional sounding board and conversation piece, to raise questions on museum architecture, art history, sponsorship and curatorial practice.