Student Vera Anttila, Art Education (MA),
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture:
In 1974, this drawing was submitted to a national drawing competition themed ‘’Co-existence’’, organised by the Finnish Schooling Administration. It is not known how it was perceived by the judges, but it ended up as part of the History of Art Education archive at Aalto University. This specific archive includes 30 000 student works(1).
Especially the 1970’s, national drawing competitions appealed to me, because that time portrayed a strong collective consciousness of environmental issues in media, geopolitical anxiety and neoliberalism on its rise in the global North. In current time, the same struggles continue to exist more globally, with an especially strong emphasis on anxiety. However, living with anxiety also brings forth the notion of being together with something. This is also why this drawing felt urgent and humorous to highlight.
In contemporary art education studies, there has been a recent wave of post-humanist and post-colonialist research and art practises. It brings to light questions such as for whom does this archive exist and what does it leave out? Does the person know that their drawing is in Aalto’s archive and what gives me the rights to display it? How is the being with visualised in this drawing and on whose terms?
I sent a message to the artist through social media, asking them if they recognised the drawing, but didn’t get an answer. This might be a way for the drawing to coexist beyond the original idea, becoming something else together with this exhibition.
1. Pohjakallio, P. (2009) Kuvataidekasvatuksen historiaa tutkimassa. Kasvatus & Aika 3(3) 2009, 133-151.