Language unlooses art – or vice versa?

The art educators at the mumok (Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) have constantly developed further an education format called Art Talk. One of the main objectives of this method is to initiate a speech among the participants about their perception of art and their associations. Art historical and theoretical information is woven into the in the conversation by the art educators only later in order to push it on.

Facing the often negative discourse about pupils with another mother tongue than German at Austrian schools the mumok wanted to provide teachers and pupils with opportunities of valueing multilingualism arising through art reception and evolved an Art Talk called ”Language unlooses art – or vice versa?”

In the beginning expectations of pupils and teachers are asked and the issue of the power of language is raised. The art educators ask the pupils to write down a word in a language of their choice which they associate with contemporary art. The pupils comment on the words in terms of their typefaces and sound during the debate – if they don’t understand the word its meaning remains unclear.

Then the pupils form pairs or small groups. Each group selects one word and thus embarks on an independent tour through the museum to select a work of art combining with their word. (Depending on their age group) the word may be amended with signs, more words or graphics.

After that a conversation about art and language takes place in front of the selected works.

Claudia Ehgartner, head of art education department at the mumok, and her staff members Ivan Jurica and Astrid Frieser enabled the MANUCULTURA-consortium to experience this special Art Talk and also told us about their experiences with the mumok youth club.

mumok 2 mumok 3 mumok 1



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