Robert Rauschenberg

There is a very interesting exhibition on at Tate Modern in London that would be worth visiting. One of the most remarkable things you notice as you wander around the rooms is the very experimental nature of Rauschenbergs work which shifted the borders between art forms as well as between art, science and social movements.

ba45e66473d15a7123dd8830dd764f31-1.jpgHis visual work often employed layering and spilt frames which is similar to some of the work we have been looking at for the Motion Project.

In his early days Rauschenberg attended Black Mountain College the ethos of which struck me as similar to what we are trying to do on the course. In particular there was a lot of cross disciplinary work between filmmakers, artists and dancers.


Black Mountainwas a highly influential school founded in North Carolina, USA, in 1933 where teaching was experimental and committed to an interdisciplinary approach. The college’s progressive principles were based on the educational theories of John Andrew Rice, its founder. In the curriculum, drama, music and fine art were given equal status to all other academic subjects. Teaching was informal, with an emphasis on collaboration, communal living and outdoor activities. Most of the work of running the college and maintaining the buildings was done by students and faculty. Black Mountain quickly became an extraordinary powerhouse of modern culture in America. Amongst its teachers were some of the greatest names of modern American culture, including the Bauhaus teacher Josef Albers, who had fled Nazi Germany after the closure of the Bauhaus that same year and became one of the first teachers at the college. Abstract expressionist painters Willem and Elaine de Kooning, artist Robert Rauschenberg, composer John Cage and dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham were all also associated with the school at one time or another.


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