Dies Natalis ISI Yogyakarta XXXIII, Postgraduate Program
Before introducing ephemeral sculpture as a form of artistic expression it is inevitable to describe the process that lead to the legitimatisation of temporal materials by the millennium and a widespread usage of them in contemporary fine arts at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Artists survived those hard times of dictatorship by following the most different strategies. The desire to escape from the suffocating political atmosphere almost predestined those attracted to nature to voluntary exile from towns. Having graduated from different art centres and universities, several artists fled back to their birth-place, in some cases to tiny villages.
For almost seventy years, art education has been an integral part of higher education in Eger, the history of which goes back to two and a half centuries. Up to the early 1990s, the image of the department founded in 1948 was defined by the training of teachers of drawing within the framework of the double major teacher training system. From 1993 the education has been specialised and as a major of Drawing and Visual Communication the training was entirely structured around visual experience. Since the introduction of the Bologna system in 2007, the education is carried out in three Bachelor programmes: Visual representation (with specialisations in painting and graphic design), Digital representation (with specialisations in electrography, web design and animation) and Plastic representation (environmental art). The university level training at the Department began in 2008. An MA teacher’s degree of Visual and Environmental Design can be attained for eight years, and the Graphic Design MA programme started in 2013. The academic year of 2015/16 marked a turning point in the history of the institute since the Visual Arts Institute was established in autumn 2015 and divided into the Department of Fine Arts and the Department of Media and Design. Furthermore, as a fulfilment of a century-old dream the institution itself will be declared a university in July 2016 called Eszterházy Károly Egyetem. As this short historical overview reveals, the teacher of drawing training having a long tradition has been transformed significantly over the past decade and in the broader framework of art dissemination it has moved towards the direction of artist education. This allows us to provide numerous choices to our students in the field of visual education.
Relying on the Institute’s ever-expanding infrastructure, our goal is to train highly qualified professionals who can play their part as autonomous artists in the professional force field, who have a more comprehensive insight into the issues of visual experience than a teacher of drawing with traditional knowledge and who are prepared to meet, in compliance with European standards, the emerging needs both in education and creative industry.
We believe that only creative people with a solid professional knowledge, who are familiar with and able to apply the latest techniques and who give a sensitive response to the issues of contemporary arts are able to comply with this stated goal. Therefore, in addition to creative exercises we firmly require during the training classical drawing and professional knowledge, the confident use of the latest technical tools, and in respect of theory not only the knowledge of art history but also the awareness of contemporary art theory. In possession of this diverse and extensive knowledge, our students may become professionals, either artists, creative experts or teachers, who are confident in making decisions in matters concerning their profession, and most importantly, whose artistic or educational activities will not be determined by uncertainty due to lack of professionalism.
We are aware of the fact that our work as tutors and organizers goes far beyond the 3- or 5-year period that students spend here, or that it goes even beyond our students’ professional success. Our graduate students, working as artists or educators, will greatly affect the visual culture of a community or an area across multiple generations. They will be the designers of objects around us, and creators to develop our visual environment. They will teach the next generation aesthetic sensibility, high standards of visual experience and openness to the reception of the arts of their time. Beside the tutorial job, the teachers at the Institute lay a great emphasis on that our students have opportunities to place their works and the results achieved in context. To this end, we have developed professional relationships with national, cross-border, European and Far Eastern educational and art institutions. Thanks to these co-operations our students have had the opportunity to learn, create or exhibit in a number of art colonies and exhibitions in Hungary, in art institutions in Oradea, Cluj, Košice, as well as in higher educational institutions in India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. Of course, this relationship network operates on the basis of reciprocity, which involves that our Institute receives students and tutors from partner institutions. Many of them come to us to study here for a semester and to participate in our art colony or in the exhibitions that we organise. These occasions have a great motivational force and provide a huge boost in daily work. Students who participate in such primary events on the basis of their performance, beyond the fact that they can measure themselves in an international environment, or even in the country’s most prestigious institute, become part of a professional contact network that they can benefit from for a lifetime.
Dr. habil. István ERŐSS, DLA
Professor, Head of the Institute of Visual Arts