Events — 28 Oct 2020

A Daily Practice: One is Always Plural

Online livestream
28 Oct, 2 pm until 3.30 pm
Main language
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Yael Davids (1968) examines the capacities in which the body operates as a documentary vessel. She studies how collective heritage and socially charged narratives become intertwined with the individual’s biography and sensibilities, surmounting to an experiencing of the concrete world that is defined by a unique finitude. Over the past five years, Davids has formally trained in the Feldenkrais Method. She uses the Method as a research device for comprehending the inner-workings of structures and prevailing tendencies — bodily, institutionally, artistically. Her three-year-long research trajectory focuses on learning conditions and duties of care, and addresses a range of questions such as: How can we reform the prevailing trope of learning being a competitive, mentally demanding experience? How can we integrate other learning processes, beyond the common optic experience? How can the relation between student and teacher be more democratic? How can we support the practice of self-reflection and individual interpretation. How can we think differently about limitation?

A Daily Practice recollects Davids' research over the course of the last three years, supported by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Van Abbemuseum. This research has taken place within the framework of the Creator Doctus (CrD) program — a post-graduate, practice-based program, financially facilitated by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union. The aim of the CrD is to provide artists with an equivalent to doctorate certification. Yael Davids is the program's first candidate.

Yael Davids, A Daily Practice, One is Alway a Plural
Yael Davids, A Daily Practice, One is Alway a Plural


“The claim of equality is not only spoken or written, but is made precisely when bodies appear together or, rather, when, through their action, they bring the space of appearance into being.” — Judith Butler

This year's Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is about different experiences and manifestations of the body, and about (dis)embodiments in art and life. We have become hyper-aware of our bodies and those of others: Through Covid-19, the quarantines and guidelines for physical distancing, we are not only dealing with (our) viral bodies, vulnerable bodies, and lonely bodies; in attempts to continue life, we manifest ourselves nonstop behind our screens as virtual bodies and data bodies. This creates new life forms, but also more techniques to be controlled, excluded, and manipulated. For much longer we have been dealing with social and political differentiations that are made between bodies that matter and those that would matter less. All over the world, protest is embodied by people assembling and allying in resistance.

What are experimental and emancipating strategies and practices for fluid embodiments? How can we form resistant collective bodies without losing our own subjectivity and fleshy "matter"? How can we think about this from art practice and theory?

“It is precisely because our bodies are the new enclaves of biopower and because our apartments are the new cells of biovigilance that it is more urgent than ever to invent new strategies of cognitive emancipation and resistance.” — Paul B. Preciado


Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is a transgressing theory program that addresses students and faculty across all departments and disciplines at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, as well as the general public. It wants to understand how art and design are entangled with other domains (from the personal to the political, from the vernacular to the academic), how ‘now’ is linked with past and future, ‘here’ with ‘elsewhere’. Click here for more information: