Dear Institution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Dear Institution,
I have fled. I’m sorry, I just need to go for a while to try a few things out…. but I’ll be back…I promise.

Dear Institution is a presentation in the form of a love letter addressed to an anonymous academic institution. It light-heartedly describes a love/hate relationship between arts practice and academia from the personal perspective of a practice-based PhD student who flirts with both.

At times I love your borders and framework but I also need some time out to explore my artistic capabilities in a different context. I won’t forget you. You are always in my heart.

During 2012, Rebecca Louise Collins, undertook part of her research at apass (Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies) in Brussels – a “non-academic” environment for artistic investigation. In a letter she wrote (but never posted) she outlines not only the struggles and frustrations of being an artist in academia but also the pleasures and challenges to be found in articulating and developing a practice within the higher education system.

I never said there was anything wrong with you. I’d just like to see some other people too. It’s not you it’s me.

What does it mean to be an artist working within an academic framework? How can alternative sites of knowledge be recognized and valued without the need for ‘justification’? These are key concerns that emerge along with questions as to what forms of ‘collaboration’ are possible – how can we work both together and alone?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCARPA 3: The Impact of Performance as Research
Subtitle of host publicationColloquim on Artistic Research in the Performing Arts
EditorsAnnette Arlander
PublisherUniversity of the Arts, Helsinki
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-6670-36-2
ISBN (Print)2341-9679
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Artistic Research
  • Practice
  • Institutional Critique
  • Practice-based research
  • Letter writing


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