|B.163 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 10:30 - 11:00, Room B2 |
|The arts educator as mediator
|Mediation is an essential element of cultural life. Most of the contacts with cultural products or activities are mediated: not only the media, the cultural industries or cultural institutions (with the advertisement) but also the family or the circle of friends are relevant mediations, just as the publishing house with the design of a book, the exhibition organiser with the disposition of the exhibits, the artistic director of a theatre with the selection of the performances, they all are also mediating between the arts and the audience. A very relevant mediation system is the formal education at school, in addition to other educational worlds (like the family, which according to recent research is responsible for a good part of the "cultural passions", or the group of friends). The educator is a mediator invested with a certain authority (and, therefore, with a high degree of impact), acting often at a time in human life in which the categories for judging and enjoying the arts are developing, so that his influence can be decisive. Mediation is always an hermeneutic process or, better, it involves several hermeneutic processes, that is: processes of selection and interpretation, which are activated according to a (conscious or unconscious) system of values, on the one hand, and to the "implicit receiver", on the other hand, that is, the image the mediator has from the addressee of his or her mediation: not only from the addressee's point of departure, but also from the point of arrival, the goals which have to be achieved by art education. It is essential that the arts educator knew this inevitable structure of the mediation process and its specificities in the field of education, in order to combine the (again inevitable) influence with the opening of spaces of freedom, in which the young person can develop his or her own artistic categories. A reflection about the consequences of this hermeneutic structure of mediation is also needed and leads to the underlying of the responsibility of the mediators, in that case, of the educators.