Bik Van der Pol
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Teach Me Something
Teach Me Something focuses on processes of
learning and generating knowledge through
experience and improvisation, sometimes passed
on from one generation to another.
These kind of processes tend to create
situational and often everyday knowledge,
embedded in language, culture, or traditions.
Critics of cultural imperialism argue that the
rise of a global monoculture causes a loss of
local knowledge. Rather than a tool to think
about what can be shown or even taught to
others, or an invitation to explore and reflect
on a specific site, Bik Van der Pol choose to
interpret the invitation to participate in an
international Bienale as a challenge: to ask
others to teach us (the artists, the public)
what we don't know or what we might have
During a visit to the flee market under the
Podu Ros (the Red Bridge) in Iasi, Bik Van der
Pol observed that a lot of objects on sale
would have been throw away in the part of
Europe where they live: mobile telephones,
hi-fi equipments, old watches, radios, various
elements from unknown machines and household
material has, apparently, still a purpose.
Teach Me Something
These objects raise basic questions on value,
use-value and the importance of knowledge of
improvisation skills. Skills and knowledge that
are quickly disappearing in Iasi under pressure
of increasing capitalism.
The artists asked different people who were
said to have specific skills or knowledge, to
show and teach these skills. A series of video
interviews is presented as part of an
installation in the Cultural Palace. How to
repair a lamp, how to make an umbrella, how to
knit, knowledge in mouse traps, tin ornaments
and utensils, and bookbinder skills are amongst
the different explanations archived, in what
functions as a potentially - on-going manual.
Through this project, Bik Van der Pol are
focusing on the different degrees of awareness
of what is valuable and what is not, what can
be transformed into something else, here and