Art’s foreignness as an ‘exit pedagogy’

John Baldacchino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Baldacchino begins with a reflection on the eternal return of the essential paradoxes of aesthetic education. With a provocative twist, he wonders whether or not recent attempts to make art education “functional” (under multiple constructivist and pragmatic guises) are not a kind of Hegelian sublation of the didactic moment of Romantic Bildung. To then move beyond the problem of such didacticism, Baldacchino proposes a new notion of Bildung that resists any positivity and is decisively negative. Using Kundera’s novel Immorality as a jumping off point, Baldacchino highlights forgetting as an educational “lesson” to be learned from the “exit pedagogy” of the arts—a pedagogy that cannot assure us or comfort us or provide us with functional solutions to problems of perception, self, and identity. For Baldacchino, this means that we learn nothing from art. Rather art offers us the experience of unlearning the familiar and conventional, and in this sense opens us to new utopian possibilities that, in themselves, are always contingent and uncertain memories of that which has not yet happened.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt's Teachings, Teaching's Art
Subtitle of host publication Philosophical, Critical and Educational Musings
EditorsTyson Lewis, Megan Laverty
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-017-7191-7
ISBN (Print)978-94-017-7190-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameContemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9759


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