By Lynne Margaret Brown, Cohort ’14
Founded in 1969 for practicing and professional artists and designers, The Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia is a school and international studio located in Venice, Italy. Here they offer courses and workshops in printmaking, bookmaking, calligraphy, and graphic design. In 1996, they established an international artist in residence program. This past summer, during our semester IDSVA residency, I had the opportunity to work on my own printmaking practice as well as become a part of the staff at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica. In December, I was awarded a fellowship at the Scuola, began my work in mid July, and continued my position until the end of September. During my time as the Artist in Residence coordinator, I cared for all incoming artists in residence, as well as explored and expanded my own printmaking practice, culminating in a solo printmaking exhibition.
On view in September 2014, the exhibition featured a series of ten prints I created in reaction to Plato’s philosophy in “The Republic, Book X.” In this work, Plato voices his ambivalence toward poesis in general, condemning artists due to their creation of false imagery and intense emotion. Plato considered artistic work, writings, drama, music, and poetry, all to be dangerous to the community, compromising the Republic. With my prints, I intertextualized “The Republic, Book X” with Immanuel Kant’s famous book on aesthetics, “The Critique of Judgement.” This text constitutes a discussion of the place of Judgment itself, which must overlap both the “Understanding” (operating from within a deterministic framework) and “Reason” (operating on the grounds of freedom). Juxtaposed with the historical past, present and future, my print-based imagery presented a commentary and response to current society, artists, art, and architecture.
In their professional printmaking studio, artists and students from all over the world have the opportunity to work side by side with Italian artists and students. Over the years, generations of international students and professors have lived in Venice and studied at the Scuola. This exhibit represented my site-based experience and observations as an artist and New York City native living in Venice, Italy.