International Journal of Art & Design Education

Critical Studies in Art Education: a Vision and a Brazilian Interpretation

Volume 12.3   1993



Frange brings a Brazilian perspective to the critical studies debate. He argues art as knowledge goes beyond `know-how'. Art is the capability of each person to construct the non-objective, the anti-art deconstruction of existent references, the `non-object', and the creation of `others' with their own `rules and tools'. Art is imagination, is invention. Critical studies induces imaginative movements, seeking new methods of investigation, emphasising inventions towards `different' performances. Art is the strange sense of rules not established, the strange sense of non-present. Critical studies, concludes the author, is thus a search for the non-present. Critical studies proposes the possibility to create `space-times and structures and colours'. Critical studies links children and adults, links the curiosity of a child and his or her openness to conceptions with adults, their open points of view and visions, challenging the imagination of both children and adults, giving values to traditions; giving opportunities and possibilities of deconstructions or `antropofagiadas'. In other words, critical studies is `to inhale-exhale-secrete' lived and living experiences seeking beyond the fourth dimension. It is a Project, which incorporates the `non-present'; it embraces relationships of vital `time-space and structure and colour' throughout perceptions, experiences, expressions, questions. There is an intimate and social relation between form, imagination, invention, life. Critical studies is a uniquely post-modem proposal because it enables each person to become open to the 'It happens that...' rather than to the `What happens...', a distinction that requires a very high degree of refinement in the perception of small differences.

This is one of a series of papers published in Volume 12, No. 3 that originated from a seminar held in the summer of 1993 at the University of Central England, Birmingham, entitled ’Critical Studies the Next Ten Years’.