The School for the Contemporary Viewer and Listener

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During the 2014-15 season, the School for the Contemporary Viewer and Listener has opened its doors. Its purpose is to synthesise the creative and educational in relation to contemporary art. The need for such a school is premised on the fact that there are no longer un-crossable borders in the world of contemporary art, the geography of the art world is changing and requires new mastery, study and description. This we hope to achieve with the help and participation of what has traditionally been called ‘the public’, although they have for a long time now not been passive spectators and witnesses, but active and necessary participants in the creative process.

The School’s teachers are developing a series of master-classes, seminars, and theoretical and practical classes where spectators and listeners become participants in the study and creation of a new artistic reality, and can acquire – together with the School itself – a new experience, which can remain at a personal level or can be deployed more widely, a permanent communion with the creative process and our contemplation of it. 

Dmitri Kourliandski:

“A good listener is not someone who is trying to understand it (music editor’s note) but the one who tries to engage in dialogue with the music and work it out for himself.

To do this within the Theatre, we are starting a ‘School for the Contemporary Viewer and Listener’.  This is an incredibly complex project, which will include lectures, master classes, and meetings with philosophers and representatives of all the arts.  Here, for example, is what I would like to do: I plan to take groups out and we’ll learn how to listen.  We’ll meet up and go off somewhere.  Maybe to a public space, out into the country, an open space, a covered space, a metro station, anywhere.  And we’ll agree that now, from this moment on, we’ll turn off our mobiles and become listeners for 45 minutes. Listeners of the city, listeners of the countryside”.