'The University of  Trash'—or, 'How to Frustrate an Art Dealer'

SculptureCenter hosts a DIY course in pedagogy as practice

"University of Trash," thankfully, shifts the emphasis away from the star system to a more grassroots and open model of participation, collaboration, and exchange. Sitting with my U-Trash classmates, listening to Harvey on the monitor discussing market fetishism and Marx's explanation of the exchange process, across the room from the Our Goods crowd, felt as conceptually integrated as anything I've experienced in a while. This is, admittedly, not populist edutainment: Harvey's lectures are lucid, though at the graduate level. But it brought back memories of studying Marx at the Grad Center with Stanley Aronowitz, whose classes followed, albeit in an unadvertised way, the same open-university model: Many of the attendees weren't registered for that or any other class at the school.

A playground for Karl Marx
Jason Mandella
A playground for Karl Marx

Details

'The University of Trash'
SculptureCenter
44-19 Purves Street, 718-361-1750
Through August 3

Ultimately, the exhibition-as-school concept, no matter how it's executed, is still an interesting one. Pedagogy is wrested away from its usual location, in museum education departments, which tend to be cloyingly evangelical—or targeted primarily toward kids. In that sense, both "Night School" and "University of Trash" contain a kernel of radicalism.

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