Krauss’ conceptual-based practice addresses the intersection of art, politics and everyday life. Her work revolves around informal knowledge and the institutionalised normalisation processes that shape our bodies. She also focusses on the way we use objects, engage in social practices and how these influence the way we act in the world. Krauss uses different tools – performance, film, historical research, pedagogy and writing to explore the possibilities of participatory practices, performativity and investigations into institutional structures to think through the questions: How do we see? How do we know what we know?
Hidden Curriculum is defined broadly as “everything you can learn outside of and alongside the official school curriculum and the way we learn from one another.” Working collaboratively to explore possible meanings for the Hidden Curriculum, students look at different types of knowledge and their hierarchies. In the project developed with the Whitechapel Gallery Krauss entered into an exploration with students of the gallery and school, examining what the two sites have in common, where, when and how they meet, and their differences.
Working in monthly sessions at school between September 2012 and July 2013 and visiting the Gallery a number of times students used film and photography as a tool to develop a variety of propositions that reflect and articulate their understanding of the Hidden Curriculum. They explored and compared behaviours, structures and material surroundings in school and at the Whitechapel Gallery questioning what is ‘normal’ and ‘allowed’, enacting different possibilities.
Through this process they produced a new body of work In Search of the Missing Lessons, including for example Undercover Studies, exploring the physical environment of both school and gallery examining how it co-constitutes the legitimacy of each institution. Collectively Rocking Chairs, that investigates the collaborative potential of a disapproved practice in school and Reversed Impossible that delved into experiencing everyday life backwards. This series of video work discusses the unwritten rules that govern institutions (gallery/ school) and how unseen structures direct the ways we behave and look at the world, pointing to the transformative potential of (un)learning everyday routines.
To conclude the residency the Whitechapel Gallery hosted an event at the Gallery co-organised by the students in which they performed a gravity workshop (how to walk along walls) and a reversed tour through the Gallery with a live audience, alongside screenings of their work.
As an extension to the ideas explored through Hidden Curriculum, Krauss delves into an interdisciplinary collaboration with teachers and students of the Maths department of the secondary school exploring the increased mathematisation of everyday life and its relation to art and education.
Annette Krauss collaborates with Stephanie Amaral Neto, Samuel Awoyemi, Justina Balynaite, Mohitur Chowdury, Victoria Clark, Connal Cocker-Dawkins, Kiezier Hamilton, Brogan Hanlon, Ishaque Ikram, Asif Islam, Jay Kerr, Mirand Morina, Migle Nostramaite, Asiya Pathan, Asher Punzalan, Natalie Quitos and Ellesse Taylor from Cumberland School in Newham, and Murad Mohammed Ahmed, Nozir Ali, Muhammed (Sayidul) Alum, Jaber Chowdhury, Sayeeda Firdaus, Aniqa Islam, Opeyemi Fakunie, Samiur Rahman, Tonny Duong, Rehena Uddin, Tarek Khan and Rhima Khanom from St Pauls Way Trust School, Tower Hamlets.
Thanks also to teachers Elizabeth Millward, Sam Hill and teaching assistants Paul Wye and Zalika Ledeatte-Williams.