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Civic Impact

Luminato Festival launches Copycat Academy, an annual art intensive

The Luminato Festival is getting its own academy.
In an announcement made early last week, Luminato organizers introduced the Copycat Academy, an artist training program that will coincide annually with Toronto's 10-day arts festival. 
Copycat, created and conceived by Berlin-based artist and educator Hannah Hurtzig, is,despite its name, a one-of-a-kind program. 
The curriculum for each iteration of the program will be based on the work and biography of a particular artist or artist collective. Students will use this artist's "method of production" to produce their own individual work (hence "copycat"). 
In the words of the official program description, "[the intensive] is a critical test of thought and practice, a laboratory where 20 participants can observe the emergence of meaning while they occupy and replicate themselves in the host. It's a master class without a master."
For the inaugural 2014 session, the curriculum will centre on influential Toronto art collective General Idea.
General Idea, the name for the collective work of conceptual artists Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, was active for over 25 years. After the death of Partz and Zontal in 1994, the General Idea archive was placed on deposit at the National Gallery of Canada. 
“We want to rethink the way artists are educated and the way we conceive of education," says Jorn Weisbrodt, artistic director of Luminato Festival. "The tiered and mostly linear approach of the 19th and 20th century academy still prevails. The Copycat Academy uses the multi-arts festival as a platform to leap off of and break up the standardized curriculum—to transform and inspire the most promising artists of the future.” 
Confirmed faculty for this years pilot program includes Toronto-based filmmaker Bruce LaBruce and Philip Monk, the director of the Art Gallery of York University and former curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Luminato Festival 
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