Tatyana Kochemasova

“Humanistic Fundamentals and Social Functions of Art”

Scientific- educational program of the International  UNESCO Chair

 for Fine Arts and Architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts.

                                 Tatyana Kochemasova

     Within the program of fundamental researches of the Russian Academy of Arts of major significance are today’s urgent processes of interaction of fine arts, science and education on problems of interdisciplinary character, a cross-cultural dialogue in the international art space and the study of the dynamics of cultural processes in a multi-aspect context (aesthetical and ethic, psychological and anthropological, philosophical and ontological, religious, political, social and other aspects). One of the main goals of the fundamental researches of the Russian Academy of Arts is to broaden the idea of a national peculiarity and creative communities in the world art. The scrutiny of problems of synthesis of various approaches within the framework of understanding of human vital functions is obtaining a greater importance.

     Among the initiatives of the of  International  UNESCO Chair for Fine Arts and Architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts in the development of scientific-educational  activity, it is important to name  the opening of a new interdisciplinary program “Art and science in contemporary world” being  implemented together  with the Russian Academy of Sciences. Within the framework of this program, there are plans to hold several joint scientific  conferences and a  series of exhibition projects and master classes, publish scientific works, conference papers, monographs, catalogues, and textbooks for art schools and higher educational institutions, and provide information on the history of world and Russian fine arts with the aim of including them in the curriculum of secondary and higher education of Russian Federation.

The necessity of a complex approach and development of suistainable development of art education has been frequently emphasized in papers of specialists in diverse fields of knowledge in the second half of the 20th – early 21st century and is still urgent within today’s programs of fundamental investigations. The synthesis of different approaches is necessary not only for  the development of the most general ideas of a human being, but it is also important for  solving particular problems of psychology, medicine, art history and other sciences which make the common space of world culture. Many scientists intensively work in this direction both in Russia and other countries proving the need in researches in the space of a dialectic synthesis of the philosophical, humanitarian and natural science knowledge (philosophical, sociological, art critical and other approaches) for the comprehensive study of a human life.

     Recently, the International  UNESCO chair for fine arts and architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts has launched a new program of fundamental researches: “Humanistic Fundamentals and Social Functions of Art”. The program focuses both on classical and innovative problems of the phenomenon of artistic conscience and deals with cognitive processes of creative work (various forms of conscience realized directly in an act of creativity) to be combined with the analysis of its motivational, social and cultural aspects. It includes many activities carried by Zurab Tsereteli as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, in particular, such major issues as:

- the study of possibilities of art in the struggle against negative tendencies in contemporary society: problems of education of young people;

- art as a means of strengthening of principles of mutual respect, tolerance and mutual understanding among peoples: analysis of historical and cultural experience  and modern solutions;

- the dialogue of cultures as a form of the 21st –century diplomacy: art in the fight for peace;

- art as a form of therapy: the power of creativity in the overcoming of physical illnesses.

The mentioned topics are chosen as the main directions of a new program.

As the important step in promoting this program the International Scientific Conference “Humanistic Fundamentals and Social Functions of Art” was held in 2011 in Moscow under the auspices of UNESCO. During the conference lectures were given by many Russian and foreign scholars and personalities connected with humanities, science and culture. Within the conference was held a roundtable discussion on “Art and Society”. The round table started with the speech by the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who not only supported the above program, but also agreed to take part in one of the Conference’s first day events. The theme of her lecture was “The Humanistic Role of Art”.

 “We live in unsettled times when what everyone used to take for granted is now open to question, whereby each day raises new questions for us – questions about what we should understand by the term “progress”, what state our societies are in, and how we are to live with each other. In these conditions, art as the foundation of human dignity and an element of peace is acquiring vitally important significance. UNESCO`s mandate is based on these ideas. And it is they that have gather all of us here together today – we, people of creative labor, cinematographers, writers, artists, sculptors, functionaries, scientists, and students” said Mrs. Irina Bokova.

There was also a panel discussion on the topic “Art in the 21st Century. A New Look” which panelists were creative young people from Russia and CIS countries, trainees of the creative workshops of the Russian Academy of Arts, graduates and students of art institutions, representatives of the youth association of the Creative Artists’ Union of Russia. 

The engagement of representatives of a younger generation together with renowned scientists was aimed to show the succession of various generations united by the existing system of scientific and creative knowledge, as well as it is an opportunity to set up a dialogue in the international humanitarian space.

It's worth another mention  the major cultural initiatives of the Chair’s head, President of the Russian Academy of Arts, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Zurab Tsereteli were a foundation of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 1999,  establishment of the Art Gallery museum and exhibition complex of the Russian Academy of Arts,  Museum of Contemporary Art of the Russian Academy of Arts in 2009.

In 2010 the Chair takes part in the large-scale exhibition program of the Russian Academy of Arts in honor of the Year of France in Russia and the Year of Russia in France including major art shows in both countries.  In 2011, exhibition and scientific program was organized in honor of the Year of Italy –Russia, in 2012 – Russia-Germany.

    Among the last scientific-educational programs to be mentioned   is “Innovations in Art: Angles of Interpretation”. What is innovation in relation to art? What are the problems of identification of this notion in the context of modern world culture and adaptation of artistic traditions in an innovative space of global culture? These are some of the issues of the program in the framework of which famous artists are sharing ideas and experience with youth (master-classes, research conferences and symposiums).

The Chair’s educational programs continue to focus on the following four target groups:

  • ·schoolchildren, college and university students;   
  • ·students of art institutions;   
  • ·postgraduates, young artists and art historians;
  • ·representatives of the general public interested in art.

It is important to emphasize that the concept of programs on art education of the International  UNESCO chair for fine arts and architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts are developed with consideration of international experience and basic documents of UNESCO: the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural expressions (2005), the Recommendations of the First and Second World conference on Arts Education (Lisbon, 2006, Seoul, 2010), additional UNESCO program «Sustainable development of art education for the promotion of  the diversity of cultural expressions».

The Chair executes its educational and cultural programs in association with the Academy’s Research Institute of Theory and History of Fine Arts, its educational institutions in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the museum and exhibition complex of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Institute of Architecture and others educational and research centers of Russia. 

     The Chair has been actively involved in cooperation with cultural and research entities of other countries (CIS, Europe, USA, South America, Japan and so on) in the area of fine arts including its participation in the promotion of educational and research programs, museum and exhibition activities, the development of cultural programs for enlightenment of the general public interested in art.

In these programs the main objectives of  UNESCO defines acknowledge the importance of art education in promoting creativity, innovation and cultural diversity and to provide equal opportunities to education for children and adolescents from disadvantaged areas.

Tatiana Kochemasova,

Candidate of arts, deputy head of the UNESCO Chair for Fine Arts and Architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts