Process – The last European Exchange Academy in Beelitz-Heilstatten
From 31st of August to the 6th of September, I returned to Beelitz-Heilstatten to partake at the EEA-G14, not as a student but as a somewhat nostalgic adviser and critic. As a student I participated in the EEA09, and during this period I had built a valuable international network of peers. The EEA is the creative child of Harry Heyink, professor at the Gerrit-Rietveld Academy. It is a summer residency that has been taken place each year in the wonderful-light filled woods of Germany. Each summer around forty-five of the most ambitious young art students from art academies in Europe, England and America are invited to come live and work together in an intensive atmosphere, some would even call it an art boot-camp. The students get up at 7 a.m, have breakfast together, take the bus from their temporary hotels, to their studio’s which are located in the historical ruins of the Beelitz-Heilstatten sanatorium complex. Here they start their day at 9 a.m at the round circle, working more or less until 5 pm. The evenings are filled with guest lectures and discussions, and of course artistic work and equally artistic partying. The emphasize of the program is to challenge students to get out of their comfort zone, to be critical and generous towards each other. Naivety and energy is encouraged: It is very much a process loaded space where often magic tends to happen. This year however, will be the last edition in these spectacular Berlin woods. We will temporarily say goodbye to the beautifully run down architecture. All good things must come to an end, and an end is just a new beginning.
Below some attempts at capturing a few of the moments to be remembered.