L'Esprit de Genève: A Financial-Pedagogical History of Sailing is the second project created as a duo by artist Gabo Camnitzer and architect Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco on the history of pedagogy and its impact on contemporary society. The project uses the child's avatar to reflect on current modes of representation and their subjectivity. Camnitzer & Casanovas Blanco's work questions the notion of knowledge as codified by developmental psychology, subverting the ways in which this field has disempowered its research subjects by objectifying children - to the point of essentialising them.
L'Esprit de Genève: A Financial-Pedagogical History of Sailing focuses on the precepts of the Éducation Nouvelle, led by Édouard Claparède and continued by Jean Piaget in Geneva in the first half of the 20th century. The artists explore the links between the thinking of Claparède and Piaget and the development of neo-liberal thinking in Geneva, while at the same time demonstrating the omnipresence of the lake and sailing as vectors of education. The project examines the relationship between Geneva's position as the world capital of finance and the hub of progressive pedagogy, highlighting the resonances that exist between the so-called 'spirit of Geneva' and the workings of the soul of capital (Kapitalseele), i.e. the insatiable drive to produce surplus value.
▶ Artwork: L'Esprit de Genève: A Financial-Pedagogical History of Sailing, 2023, Three black and white photographs on canvas from archives, 103.72 x 135 cm, La Maison des Petits, 1931. Archives Institut J.-J. Rousseau, La Maison des Petits, 1931, 94.84 x 135 cm, Anonymous photographer, René Mirabaud en squaw sur le lac Léman, 1888, 83 x 135 cm, image Serge Party and Famille Mirabaud
▶ Venue: Débarcadère des Pâquis
Thanks to The Embassy of Foreign Artists, Geneva, for hosting Lluis Alexandre Casanovas Blanco during his research