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Questions for Prof. David Schutter

What is particularly important to you as a professor in dealing with students?

For me, the most important thing is to graduate students who are independent, that can continue to learn once they leave the domain of the university.

What goals have you set for yourself as a professor?

One of the most central ideas I hope any student of mine will carry with them is that they are not working in a vacuum. They must engage with histories, cultures, and economies and discover the balances of power that structure these narratives. As artists they will need to see through such systems in order to be effective and place their art in a position to speak immutably.

How are you preparing for the new semester?

I enjoy reading and beginning a semester with a head full of new stuff. I may not use most of it in the classroom, but I like having abstract prompts ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be art writing, most often it is not.

Why did you decide to accept a professorship at the UdK Berlin?

Before I took this professorship, I was a tenured professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago. After 15 years there, it was not an easy decision to leave. Ultimately, the idea of working in the German style of teaching really appealed to me. And this school is a wonderful and historic place, with incredible faculty and students. Also Berlin feels like a second home to me.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The exchange of ideas, that’s the thing I enjoy the most. Thinking through a concept, making language out of it, making that language manifest in material - seeing all of these stages come together in some kind of form. Then better, having discourse around that form. These things really never grow old for me.

Prof. David Schutter teaches Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts.