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Artoll, Bedburg-Hau, Germany


Residency: 24 March – 6 April 2013

Open Studio: Monday 1 April 2013 12.00 – 6.00

Closing event: Friday 5 April 2013 4.00 – 8.00 


Sarah Buckle (UK), Max Hattler (Germany), Paul Helliwell (UK), Hayoung Kim (South Korea), Sally Labern (UK), Sian Mooney (UK), Pete Nevin (UK), Dimitrios Oikonomou (Greece), Magdalena Papanikolopoulou (Greece), Dean Todd (UK), Hedley Roberts (UK), Rekha Sameer (British-Indian), John Stephens (UK), Chin Wu (Taiwan)


“Directional Forces 2013” brings together 14 artists to work in residency at Artoll, a specialist arts studio complex situated in a rural psychiatric clinic town near to Kleve in Germany.  


The Directional Forces project takes its title from of one Joseph Beuys most significant works, “Richtkräfte” (Directional forces) (1974-77).  Begun during Art and Society at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (Nov. 1974), the work consists of 100 chalk-written blackboards that feature the wide range of subjects that Beuys covered in his lecture presentations.  The work was subsequently shown at the René Block Gallery, New York (April 1975) and the Venice Biennale (July 1976) before Beuys presented it in the National Gallery in Berlin in its final form as an installation.


Beuys developed the role of the artist as pedagogue throughout the 1970s, including discussion and teaching in his expanded definition of art, delivering lectures in galleries and art colleges using complex annotated chalk drawings on blackboards. Beuys thinking was highly influenced by the work of the philosopher, Rudolph Steiner. Beuys theories of ‘Social Sculpture’ and the ‘Social organism as work of art’ emerge from Steiner’s theories of the ‘Social Three-folding” of ‘economy, politics and culture’. Beuys believed that art and creativity had the power to transform, and key to this was the belief that ongoing, active debate is necessary to stimulate this.


 The aim of the Directional Forces project is to provide an intensive residency environment for artists to interrogate the pedagogy of their practice within a social situation, leading towards a new body of work by each artist. At the Artoll arts laboratory, studio spaces are open plan and artists are free to observe and comment on the practices of each other, without privacy. The artists live, eat and work together, sharing knowledge, ideas and creative experiences through social interaction and engagement. This document features some of the work created during that period. 


Directional Forces 2013 has been funded by the University of East London UK, Bucks New University UK, Bedfordshire University and the Sampoerna Foundation Indonesia, and has been made possible through the kind support of the Artoll Committee. The project is also supported by the Professional Doctorate Degree programme in Fine Art (DFA), the longest running wholly practice-based doctorate level fine art study programme in the UK. 


Hedley Roberts established Directional Forces in 2012 and is the Director-Curator of the project.

























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