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article image'The Copycat Academy' at Luminato in Toronto

By Bryen Dunn     Feb 22, 2014 in Entertainment
Toronto - The Copycat Academy takes the work and biography of an artist as the model for its curriculum. Over a one-week, intensive learning experience an artist’s method of production will be hijacked and subjected to a temporary parasitic inhabitation.
The 2014 pilot will start with one of the most influential artist collectives of the late 20th century, Toronto based General Idea. General Idea is the perfect subject for this with their fictions, their pageantry, and their practice of taking over formats and reactivating them with new content. Above all of this, they have already told everything about themselves a long time ago.
This is meant to be idolatry and cult, or more precisely an act of mimicry. More accurately it is a critical test of thought and practice, a laboratory where 20 participants can observe the emergence of meaning while they occupy and replicate themselves in the host. It’s a master class without a master. Currator Hannah Hurtzig comments: “I never knew what it meant to educate artists. To me it’s an enigma. But Luminato gives us the possibility to create a complex situation. It’s a place where academia, the marketplace and the nightclub meet. It offers the possibility of dangerous discussions, challenging encounters. We will use this opportunity to betray the promise of knowledge that an academy is supposed to deliver.”
Says Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director of Luminato Festival, “We want to rethink the way artists are educated and the way we conceive of education. The tiered and mostly linear approach of the 19th and 20th century academy still prevails. The Copycat Academy uses the multi-arts festival as a platform to leap off of and break up the standardized curriculum, to transform and inspire the most promising artists of the future.”
The pilot program will be facilitated by a faculty, curated by Hannah Hurtzig, comprised of colleagues of General Idea, theoreticians, critics, and contemporary artists, to be announced in coming weeks. The faculty will include both those connected to General Idea and those who have nothing to do with the collective’s art practice, but whose research follows a recursive path. AA Bronson will not be teaching. The Luminato Festival has spoken with the artist and has invited Bronson to attend for the final day of the Academy.
Topics covered through the week will include:
• The City of Winnipeg
• The Death Mask
• The Theory of Hijacking
• Glamour & Fashion
• The Future Seen in Retrospective
• Simulation of Life
• Shamanism & Healing as Art Form
Luminato Festival presents THE COPYCAT ACADEMY, June 9-15, 2014 @ The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen Street West, Toronto
Luminato Festival is Toronto’s international multi-arts festival for people open to having art change their outlook on the world. For 10 days each June, Luminato Festival transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces with hundreds of events celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more.
Visit Luminato Festival for additional programming and events.
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