René Francisco and pedagogy as coexistence: DUPP–International, Halle, Germany

/ 8 December, 2013

(…) whoever has been near René knows that there are very few square meters of paper or canvas, toothpaste tubes, or metal in his installations; and that his social and pedagogical projects, which are not marked by the organic weight of what he himself has described as a “familiar and contextual singularity.” His life has become so united to his work that we never know for sure where one ends and the other begins, or vice versa. Therefore, one of the central themes of his work is that of coexistence. And, for example, we confirmed this in his well-known marches of anthropomorphized toothpaste tubes. When we look at them carefully, we realize how the mass begins to lose its essentially anonymous traits, and becomes transformed into a group of people with private interests that relate to each other. Another example that expresses his sense of coexistence can be seen, for example, among the works exhibited as part of Ajuste de cuentas (Settling of Scores), where the presence of his family and others from his surroundings acquire a primary role.

The direct result of that tenacious educational work known by all as DUPP, or Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica (Based on Pedagogic Pragmatics), has been expressed in four “Pragmatics” groups to date and in a number of artists who have gained renown, some of them internationally. Moreover, René Francisco has also opened up the concept and the methodology of the DUPP project to international workshops (…)

(…) personally witnessed the DUPP–International project, which recently took place in Germany (April-July 2013). This was a project of pedagogical extension and systematization carried out by René Francisco during the summer semester at the University of Art and Design Halle, a celebrated German school whose Visual Arts Faculty is located in a medieval castle, the Burg Giebichenstein.

In just four months of intense work, René Francisco’s students created the group Unland.

(…) Beyond the irrelevant everyday quality aspect of organizing a place of work, it was above all a question of elevating the natural feeling of fraternity to a frame of reference and a collective responsibility. That is, through an ordinary experience of socialization, to generate a disposition for a symbolic and familiar space capable not only of stimulating exchange and camaraderie, but also of dissolving the unproductive group/individual contradiction.


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