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Estetiska transformationer: Att följa en kanins väg från en konsthall, via en förskola och vidare till konsthallens ateljé
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0499-1345
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2016 (Swedish)In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 21, no 1-2, 101-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Den här artikeln handlar om förskolebarn, konstpedagogik, materialitet och filosoferna Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) och Felix Guattari (1930-1992). Mer precist vill vi, med hjälp av tre huvudbegrepp (assemblage, rhizom och nomadologi) hämtade från nyss nämnda filosofer, analysera fram vad materialitet och rum kan ha för betydelse i en förskoleklass möte med en konstutställning. I mötet är många mänskliga och icke-mänskliga kroppar inblandade. Vi söker svar på frågor om hur estetisk gestaltning (konst) och estetiska relationer (materialitet) kan förbinda mänskliga kroppar, materialitet och rum. Vi riktar ett särskilt fokus mot just barns inblandning i hur mänskligt-materiella relationer skapas i en konsthalls och en förskolas rum. Analysen visar hur rum för konst (gestaltning) och rum för estetiska relationer (materialitet) samskapas i och via mötet med en kanin av plast; hur de konst-estetiskt-materiella relationer som samskapas i mötet med kaninen förbinder olika rum, kroppar och materialiteter med varandra. Genom att följa en kanin framträder oväntade detaljer som viktiga, liksom hur olika förståelser av estetik kan sätta en analys i rörelse.

Abstract [en]

Aesthetic transformations: Following a rabbit’s path from an art center, through a preschool and on to the art center’s studio

In this paper we conduct an analysis of the visits of two preschool groups to an exhibition at an art center. The visit was composed of three parts; first a cultural worker presented the exhibition in the art center, then the groups returned to preschool where they used photos from the visit to reflect on it and to prepare for the last part, which consisted of a session in the art center’s studio to create art of their own. The exhibits, created by the Finnish artist Anu Tuominen, were mainly constructed using recycled materials and furniture collected into constellations, with such titles as (our translations): “Real circles of color with sunflowers” (Figure 1), “To fix a neckpiece” (Figure 2), or “To keep oranges and carrots” (Figure 2). When the groups visited the studio they brought their own recycled materials to be used in their own artwork, as well as using materials provided by the studio. Our analysis is based on an ethnographic study in which one student followed the groups between the different events, making notes, taking photographs and using an audio recording device. All adults had given their written consent to participate in the study, including the children’s parents, as well as the children themselves (verbal consent).

When we analyzed the material, our first reflection was that the children had very little space to move freely within the exhibition, or to make their own explorations. It so happened that one child tried to break loose from the group, and was given a friendly caution to stay in the group (which they did). The visit was then controlled by the culture worker, preschool teachers and the art institution itself. There was little indication of any influence from ideas suggesting that children’s own choices of how to move are a form of expression or to create a space in which children can present an exhibition, or that touch can open up alternative interpretations in relation to verbally communicated understandings. We then explored other ways to understand what was going on during the visits (i.e. the whole process), and became inspired by research influenced by Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995) and Felix Guattari (1930–1992), which aims to understand art and pedagogy in new ways by including the material and the relational in any analysis. During the reflection process we realized that we were witnessing two different understandings of aesthetics; on the one hand aesthetics as fine art and an expression of genres, the beautiful and sublime, and on the other hand aesthetics as material relations, movements and space–material explorations. In the analysis, we explore how both these ways of understanding “aesthetics” are set in motion, and we show how both understandings are relevant and produce different interpretations of the art studio visit as a process in which agency is produced in complex ways by both human and non-human agents. We argue that it is important to highlight both understandings of aesthetics in order to understand the complexity of the event taking place.

In the analysis, we focus on material details highlighted by children during the visit. More specifically, we follow and engage with a girl’s “discovery” of a plastic rabbit (Figure 3), and how this rabbit becomes a material agent in the whole event; how the girl, the rabbit and different adults activate and create each other in a process of “becoming with” (Lee 2005) human and non-human agents, as well as in relation to aesthetics as art and aesthetics as material-relationality. We suggest that the plastic rabbit (Figure 3), introduced by a girl child early in the art visit process, transforms into the shape of a painted rabbit (Figure 4) at the end of the process, when the group of children produce their own artwork in the studio. In between these two differing, yet coherent, realizations, the rabbit was made an agent in the preschool via photographs and a girl’s sensory (touch) engagement with the photos. In addition to analyzing the agency of the rabbit and how it co-produced actions with humans and other materials, we show how it moves between the different (institutional) spaces (including the university via us researchers) and thus also becomes an agent taking part in producing these locations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 21, no 1-2, 101-124 p.
Keyword [en]
aeshetics, material relations, art center, rabbit, human and non-human, early childhood
Keyword [sv]
konst-estetik, materiell-relationell-estetik, rumsöverskridande, kanin, barn, konsthall, förskola
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education; Aesthetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130589OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-130589DiVA: diva2:931307
Available from: 2016-05-27 Created: 2016-05-27 Last updated: 2016-09-26

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