From the art of selfies to the idea of making plastic from plants: these are the avant-gardistic ideas of our Arts & Culture students

Art nowadays comes in many different forms. Stating that only paintings or sculptures could be seen as 'true' forms of art, has become outdated, because art is always in motion and artists around the world are constantly coming up with new ways to express their artistic ideas. For the elective 'Avant-Gardes in Context', taught by Niels van Poecke, students were asked to zoom in on a contemporary avant-garde phenomenon and explain it in an avant-gardistic way. The result? Seventeen interesting Final Assignments discussing a wide range of modern-day artistic phenomena in a completely new way.

Selfies, memes and street art in Rotterdam

Is it narcissistic? Is it simply a new form of the classic self-portrait? Or is it even art? This is the question that was central in the final assignment of Saara and Katerina, appropriately named ''The Selfie Revolution". On the Tumblr page they created for the course, you can find an analysis of this phenomenon as well as real-life examples. Because regardless of whether you like or dislike them: no one can deny their immense popularity.

Another modern-day phenomenon that was discussed in one of the Final Assignments, were memes. Caroline and Onerva wrote an essay on the topic of feminist memes in specific, exploring the deeper thought behind feminists who are sharing their views on the world through memes, which come down to photos accompanied by a text (see attachment). 

Manon and XinXin decided to not look at cyberspace, but simply look around outside, because streets are actually also full of art. On the blog they created especially for the course, they discuss this phenomenon. Furthermore, they created a guide which points out the best pieces of street-art to be found in Rotterdam (see attachment).

And there's more: from making art on campus to a 3D-print of Magritte's famous 'pipe'

Modern-day artists are often inspired by what their predecessors have once created, and that also goes for Rema and Tavia. To wrap up the course, they 3D-printed the famous pipe that Magritte once painted (see attachment), thereby literally bringing a classic artwork to life! Eef and Zoe also got their inspiration from the earlier days. They created a short video, including parts from old black-and-white movies, to discuss the history of cinema. Yet another project was created by Anna and Holly, who created a Tumblr-page titled Hues Avant, on which they pay a (digital) tribute to Mark Rothko. 

An entirely different idea was the creation of an actual painting on our very own campus, by inviting students and other people passing by to make a contribution to the white canvas (''Relation Aesthetics @ EUR Campus, Elisa and Fernanda). What the result looked like? Check out the photo under ''Attachments''... 

Other projects which were submitted, included podcasts ("Alexa Meade Podcast", Adelindra & Muzammil and ''Relational Aesthetics Podcast", Andrea & Giorgia), a plan for creating plastic from plants (''Plantastic Ecological Production'', Fheonna & Maaike), a movie script (''Dogma95'' by Javier & Mirei, see attachment), a story on avant-garde gastronomy (Bastiaan & Mattia) and a magazine on art movement 'Stuckism' (Camille & Evita, see attachment). 

Additionally, two videos were submitted, one being a documentary on artist Legowelt, which can be watched on Youtube (by Eveline & Kevin) and the other telling the fictional story of Benjamin: a so-called ''recurrent neural network'' who can answer any question you have by generating little notes containing the answer ("Untitled 42", Alisa & Nicky - see attachments for a photo of Benjamin). 

Boutaina and Brigitte decided to get arty and recreate a number of artworks in well-known styles such as surrealism, pop art, dadaism and expressionism. On their Tumblr-page 'remaking of the avant-gardes' you can admire the 21st centruy interpretations of these art genres. Last but not least, Joram and Lara created a Tumblr-page as well for their project ''Parergon'' in which they question where art begins and ends: is the frame of an artwork, for example, also part of the work itself? (also see the attachment for pictures of their work).