The art academy cannot exist without talent.
One is born with talent. He who receives it is left at its mercy.
In that sense, talent resembles inherited kingship that defies categories of justification. And just as kingship is subversive to democracy, talented artistry is similarly subversive to society.
A constructive sort of subversion. It initially undermines observation and knowledge, only to lay the foundations for newly formed observation and knowledge within that vacant space.
Magritte’s painting ‘l’Etat de grâce’ is a representation of talent.
Here we see an absurd composition of a floating smoking cigar and a bike resting atop it. On the cigar band an owl is depicted.
Wisdom wrapped in an unprecedented lightness towards a risky destination: the domain of new meaning.
Talent contains ability and desire.
In order to understand these mysterious substances, contemporary art education expresses them in the form of competences to act as beacons for students and tutors searching for basic qualifications.
But a mystery never allows itself to be defined by formulas or lists of ingredients.
An art academy must attempt to fathom the mystery, but must acknowledge that there are factors that remain elusive. It is precisely these factors that make the blood run quicker, that rattle beliefs, and force you to rethink your curriculum
An academy that possesses the sensitivities and instruments to do so can bring talent to fruition.
Simply ‘messing around’ without awareness of competences can lead to an amazing oeuvre.
Literally and figuratively.
A famous talented figure who inveigles is Mr Ripley.
He so strongly desires to change his social status that by using his talent of deception, he is able to recreate the world around him and achieve this ambition. Where he fails, he resorts to murder.
Ripley is a will-o’-the-wisp.
The talent we are concerned with illuminates situations that are shrouded in the mist of conventions. This talent, too, can be murderous: the victims are:
Talent is violent and magnificent.
Talent is a passion and a burden.
The academy is not present at the birth of talent.