Happening at Estonian Academy of Art

Institute of Art History

Public lecture: Nora Sternfield “Some Thoughts About Learning Together. Strategies of Art Education as Critical Practices of Knowledge Production”

Tuesday 21 February, 2017


You are cordially invited to a public lecture by Nora Sternfeld, Professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University on Tuesday, February 21 at 18.30 at The institute of Art History and Visual Culture (Suur-Kloostri 11, Tallinn)

“Some Thoughts About Learning Together. Strategies of Art Education as Critical Practices of Knowledge Production”

How can we learn something that doesn’t exist yet? On the one hand this sounds paradoxical. But isn’t it on the other hand exactly what radical education is all about? Learning as a political and emancipatory practice has always been understood as a process towards another possibility: as a way to understand the social relations in order to change them; to understand them as they might only be understandable in another world. And maybe by doing so this one might change… As this process of self-transformation is a collective practice we can only learn it together. Following this thoughts the lecture will look at some examples of trafo.K – an office for art, education and critical knowledge production based in Vienna. We will discuss strategies for in-between spaces and contact zones that lay the ground for learning together.

Nora Sternfeld is Professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki and co-director of /ecm — Master Program in Exhibition Theory and Practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She is co-founder of trafo. K, office for art education and critical knowledge production and part of freethought, platform for research, education, and production based in London. In this context she is was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2016.

In cooperation with CuMMA – Studies in Curating, Managing and Mediating Art at Aalto University (

Posted by Karin Vicente
Institute of Art History

Jan Verwoert public lecture on November 12th

Thursday 12 November, 2015

Jan Verwoert

On Thursday, November 12th at 6PM, internationally renowned art theorist and professor of Oslo Art Academy Jan Verwoert will hold a public lecture Whipped Cream for the Walking Dead at the hall of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, 6 Kohtu St.

The material world each day gives us more stuff to buy and fear, while at night our faces at night are bathed in the glow of LED-screens as we look for true life on the net. Did the war stop in the ’50s? Or did the pills just get better in taking the edge off? What to do when everywhere we go, online or IRL, we still can’t help but bring our body?

One way to deal with the situation, it would seem, is to turn life into a shimmer as sublimely dull as that on your screen. Call it the bliss of Zombies who no longer feel that they don’t feel, because they have lost their metabolism and can eat what they want and never put on a gram of weight. Who could fail to be convinced by the deep drowsiness in Lana del Rey’s voice when she sings that all she wanted to do was get high by the beach?

Yet what if the soul keeps kicking and yearning for some food and hurls us back in among a world of things, people, promises and online horoscopes? What if we confronted the question Bifo Berardi raised, asking: “Where shall we take our round bodies?”

Jan Verwoert is a writer, a contributing editor of frieze magazine, a professor for theory at the Oslo Academy of the Arts and teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous (MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006), Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010), and, with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time (JRP, Zurich 2013) and Cookie! (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Inst. 2014).

Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History in co-operation with the Centre for Contemporary Art Estonia are organizing a public lecture series concentrated on the questions of contemporary curatorship, criticism and theory. All lectures will be preceded by reading groups analyzing the previuos texts of the visiting lecturer at the office of Centre for Contemporary Art Estonia, Vabaduse väljak 6. The reading groups are free and open for all. The writing of Jan Verwoert will be discussed this Friday, November 6th at 2PM, please e-mail for registration.

Posted by Ingrid Ruudi
Institute of Art History

Prof Kenneth Frampton open lecture on October 14th

Wednesday 14 October, 2015

frampton foto

Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History is delighted to present a public lecture of Prof Kenneth Frampton (Columbia University, New York) on Wednesday, October 14th 6PM at the Museum of Estonian Architecture.

Kenneth Frampton is an architect and architectural historian whose Modern Architecture. A Critical History from 1980, currently available in its fourth, significantly updated edition, has become one of the most canonical accounts of 20th century architecture. With remarkably broad scope, Kenneth Frampton introduced to the Western-centered discourse of modern architecture developments by the Russian avant-garde, Alvar Aalto and Scandinavian modernism, experimentations in colonial contexts as well as contemporary developments on the global scale. Besides architecture history, Prof Frampton has been a prolific commentator on architecture of our own age. Having moved from Great Britain to the United States in 1965, Kenneth Frampton started teaching firstly in Princeton University and from 1972 onwards in Columbia, forming the most innovative circle of architectural theorists of the time together with Peter Eisenman, Manfredo Tafuri, Rem Koolhaas, Diana Agrest ja Anthony Vidler. The magazine Oppositions, established at Columbia in 1973, became the leading platform for innovative architectural thought, aiming at introducing critical theory to the discussions on architectural practice and culture in the wider sense. Frampton’s own positions have been informed by Hannah Arendt’s social critique as well as Martin Heidegger’s conceptions of locality, thus he has always emphasized the social responsibility of architectural production as well as the specificities of context, aiming to resist the tendency to view buildings as representations or commodity. The 1983 essay Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an architecture of resistance, pleading for a critical locality as a countermeasure against global homogenization and scenographic architecture, retains its relevance even today. These principles continue to inform Prof Frampton’s recent publications including monographic volumes on Alvaro Siza (2000), Le Corbusier (2001), Tadao Ando (2003), and five North American architects (2012).

The open lectures of the Institute of Art History are supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment.
Professor Kenneth Frampton’s public lecture is organized in co-operation with Aalto University Helsinki.

Photo: Jeff Barnett-Winsby, 2007

Posted by Ingrid Ruudi