PHD doctoral programmes:
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The Whitney Museum of Americam Art Independent Study Program (ISP), New York, USA [http://www.whitney.org/programs/isp.shtml]
'The Whitney Museum of Art Independent Study Program now is in its thirtieth year, is a unique educational program for practising artists and graduate students in the fields if art history, criticism, and curatorial studies. The program encourages critical study and theoretical inquiry into the practices, institutions, and discourses that contribute the field of culture. It provides a setting within which students engage in ongoing discussions and debates about the historical , social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production.' (1)
In 1968, after a one year pilot phase, the Independent Study Program was instituted as part of the Whitney Museum Education department. Next to the 'Studio Program' directed by Ron Clark, there was the 'Art History' field and a curatorial program called 'Museum Studies'. From the very start, 'participants' of the last-mentioned field organised several exhibitions a year. With the move of its spaces downtown, the ISP spatially distanced itself from the 'Whitney Education Department' and also spoke in a reserved tone of a distance to the program. At this time, the director Ron Clark developed the program to the form known today. In 1987, Hal Foster took over responsibility for the 'Curatorial and Critical Studies Program', and two years later, Mary Kelly for the 'Studio Program'. In 1991, the 'Curatorial and Critical Studies Program' was carried on by Benjamin Buchloh.
30 'participants' a year take part in the relatively short course of studies between September and May. 20 in the 'Studio Program', 6 in 'Critical Studies' and 4 in the 'Curatorial Program'. The ISP possesses no facilities to speak of: the spaces in the 'Studio Program' are very small, and there is little technical equipment. Twice a week, all participants meet for three hours in a so-called 'reading and lecture seminar'. Renée Green was a participant herself in 1989-90 and later a 'fulltime faculty' and 'guest faculty member'. She describes the discussion situation arising between the 'participants' and the 'faculty members' from the various fields as follows: 'In this atmosphere it is possible to question the categories and to experience the diverse approaches, which can call into question previous assumptions of authority about one's so called domain.'
The foundation of the ISP in 1968 took place at a fortunate moment in time. Since then, the relationship between the ISP and the Whitney Museum has increasingly worsened: 'At this moment it is uncertain where in Program will be housed after this month. The relationship between the Museum and the Program continues to be one of negotiation….The Program functions as a point of intellectual excitement and of art market potential, as demonstrated recently by the sell out of the critical studies presentations at the Whitney Museum and by the mob scene frenzy of the open studios, which appear more professional, by art market standards, each year. ' (3) Green describes the Studio Program as being in an ambivalent state, between 'oasis' and 'weathered bastion': 'A place to think critically while living amidst-in the case of the time referred to-the fallout of Thatcherism and Reaganism. It's important, as Giroux reminds us, to keep the political in perspective with the theoretical and lived experiences.' (4)
09 July 2005
22:29 by x?