Curlin introduced What, How & For Whom’s recent exhibition “Really useful knowledge” at the Reina Sofia.
The notion of “really useful knowledge” was originated from the workers’ awareness of the need for self-education in the early 19th century. In the 1820s and 1830s, workers’ organizations in United Kingdom introduced this phrase to describe ‘unpractical’ knowledge like politics, economics and philosophy, as opposed to what factory owners proclaimed to be “useful knowledge”. Some time earlier capitalists began investing in advancement of their businesses through funding the education of workers in ‘applicable’ skills and disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry or math.
Through this reference to the beginnings of struggle against exploitation and the early efforts towards self-organized education of workers, the exhibition “Really Useful Knowledge” looks into issues around education from contemporary perspective.
The exhibition does not point towards one ‘correct’ method of education, of learning or (co)learning, but rather presents a range of strategies and methodologies through which artists deconstruct the ‘common knowledge’ and hegemonic views on history, art, gender, race, and class.