Home » Reverse Pedagogy: Canadian Artists in Venice!

Reverse Pedagogy: Canadian Artists in Venice!

Reverse Pedagogy is an experimental, nomadic art school started by Winnipeg artist Paul Butler at the Banff Centre last year, in which participants were asked to direct the residency collectively.

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The canoes, before leaving for Europe. Image: reversepedagogy.com

The goal – which VoCA loves, see our post on art schools HERE – was to create an experiment in which students would teach each other without hierarchical pedagogical models.

“Reverse Pedagogy was a sanctuary from the pressures and responsibilities that come with being a professional artist…”

For one week in June, during the chaotic opening days of the 53rd Venice Biennale, the residency decamps to Venice where they have rented an enormous palazzo, inside which they will camp out – literally. Led by the artist Dean Baldwin, who is well-known for his mini-bar, the participating artists can be seen as a microcosm of some of Canada’s most interesting and interested artists (mostly from Toronto), including VoCA favorites Paulette Phillips, Kelly Mark, Paul Butler, Robin Simpson and Maryse Lariviere of Pavilion Projects, and Jon Sasaki.


The Plazzo Rezzonico (nice, but not where the Canadians are staying). Image: aboutromania.com

While the program is quite loose, some scheduled events include Campari cocktails (naturally) and a “mystery activity” in Piazza San Marco on Wednesday, the Algonquin Tiki Tiki Hut Party at the Canadian Pavilion opening party on Thursday, another “mystery activity” on the Via Garibaldi on the way to the Giardini and a Tug of War against the Swimming Cities of Senenissima.


Dean Baldwin’s Algonquin Tiki Hut, installed at University of Toronto. Image: katharinemulherin.com

Oh, and the canoe expeditions…!

Milking Canadian cliches for all they are worth, a fleet of ten canoes have been purchased on Craigslist and have made their way to Venice. Expect to see artists negotiating, in true Canadian style, the canals of Venice, trying to avoid arrest and generally causing a ruckus.

In all a group of 24 artists and curators will be there, collaborating – though we suspect it will be mostly partying. Having said that, Venice is a great place to make international contacts and collaborations, so we’ll see what happens.

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Image courtesy Dean Baldwin.

Next week we’ll speak with participating artist Bruno Billio on what he has planned for the residency.

In the meantime, to check out what they’re up to, click HERE. They will be blogging their activities round the clock.

One Response to “Reverse Pedagogy: Canadian Artists in Venice!”

  1. Max says:

    sounds like you will make quite a splash in “La Senenissima” especially when its “La Serenissima”. Its the kind of invasion of “campers” that the most serene Venetians have learned to tolerate. So thanks for the cliches…very in keeping with the pastiche of what the Biennale gravitates to….and by the way you should have a tough act to follow to “generally make a nuisance” after the likes of Napoleon…but thats another complex..and its a reverse pedagogy alright.

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