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ERIC Number: EJ1048843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3541
Art Education Is Stupid (And It Should Be)
Tavin, Kevin
Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, v56 n1 p438-441 Fall 2014
Despite the good intentions of art educators to have students seek and represent knowledge and consciously use language to describe what they see, the things educators think they should see and the signifiers that come out of their mouths (and through their bodies) always reveal that there is something else going on--between them, the teachers, and the world. This is one point where the radical Otherness emerges. In Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, this Otherness is distinguished in part by its stupidity (Tavin, 2010). "Not only is the unconscious 'a knowledge' it is also 'a stupid'" (Nobus & Quinn, 2005, p. 109). The term stupidity is not meant to signify a position on the scale of intelligence or function as a disparaging term, but to work as a moment of inversion when, for example, seeing encounters itself as not seeing, when it runs up against itself, or blocks its own development (Nobus & Quinn, 2005). Why, then, is art education stupid--or why should it be? In the first case, it might help us step back from the hegemony of seeing that takes for granted the overwhelming idealization of the relationship between the visual subject (seeing) and visual objects (being seen)--in whole or partially, including ourselves. The second reason why art education should be stupid is to open up a gap between the supposed natural desire to see and the institutional, historical, and political construction of the will to see.
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A