Sculpture quite literally takes up space: you cannot stand where a sculpture stands, and that fact in itself means that sculpture always engages directly with the community of which it is part; with the powers that be. Or, if you like, with issues pertaining to public presence, sociality and representation.
The School of Sculpture Charlottenborg is steeped in history. It offers a distinctive and peculiar mixture: a vibrant workshop set in hallowed halls infused with tradition. The physical setting in itself invites discussions about artistic practice, and the historical sense of continuity – reaching all the way back to Bertel Thorvaldsen and to the present day – means that everyone who works here faces a major challenge: contemplating and reconciling past and present.
Today, the school takes its main starting point in the concepts of art that have emerged from the 1960s onwards – a perception of the nature of art that continues the processes of dissolution, exploration and expansion seen on the international art scene in the last six decades.
The teaching principles
The school is very much aware that each student’s individual practice forms the raw material on which the academy rests, and it respects their work accordingly. Finding your own voice and establishing your own artistic practice can be a complex challenge – a challenge that involves questions of a fundamental existential nature.
At the same time each student chooses and defines his or her own projects at the school. This means that it must be possible to decipher, discuss and communicate each student’s practice in a format that allows the school as a whole to reflect on their work.
At the School of Sculpture Charlottenborg, the teaching is associated with those aspects of the work of art that concern the will and ability to convey insights. Students should be aware that art is not just a subjective aesthetic project, but also a field of exchange and human interaction. This means that students will at all times be kept aware of wider perspectives: social and artistic, local and international.
The students’ own independent work takes centre stage at the school. However, we also seek to support collective work and practices. The school employs a particular format called “Practice-based Teaching”: this involves students exhibiting their work in co-operation with external partners. The School of Sculpture Charlottenborg’s list of partners includes:
These collaborations allow students to test the artistic potential of their work in a wider range of spaces – both social and art-related. They also give students direct insight into how their work is received and presented, both collectively and individually.
Discussions of the students’ work and practice hold a key position at the school. Such discussions take place within the school’s workshops and studios, as part of sessions with external guests, at students’ workshops and through experimental interaction with citizens and users outside of the institution. For example, the school has arranged open talks about the students’ works in public outdoor settings.
Staging vibrant, engaged and verbal discussions in connection with the physical presence of a sculptural object offers a unique situation; one that can give rise to new nuances and perspectives. Everyone involved share in the same challenge: to establish a discussion forum where all statements are taken seriously, regardless of their theoretical basis. The overall ambition is to help the students to fully express their artistic intentions.
Classes are mainly taught in English.