Address from the Rector

“Tomorrow, we shall have to invent,
once more, the
reality of this world.”
-Octavio Paz

Artistic creativity is an inquiry into existence itself. As Milan Kundera has pointed out in his writings on the creative act, existence from the perspective of creativity is “not that which has already happened, but rather the whole scope of human potential, all that man can become, everything that he is capable of.” In this sense art maps out the discoveries of human existence and the capabilities of the human spirit.

The Iceland Academy of the Arts is devoted to the academic field of the arts, and as such it holds a unique place among universities in Iceland. It is not simply an institution where knowledge is maintained and distributed, but also a channel for creative processes, a platform for experimentation and creative thought. The IAA actively produces new knowledge to the benefit of society, and the creative aspects are a driving force in the Academy’s work and the reality that students and teachers tackle within its walls. The Academy encourages new art creations, and by mediating knowledge it increases respect for the arts and prepares the ground for those who like to appreciate them.

Teachers and students meet on a creative collaboration platform – as equals. The teacher leads with his/her knowledge and experience, and organises the work in accordance with the creative needs of the students, their individual characteristics, and diverse possibilities and wishes in their approach to art creation.

Ever since the Academy first opened its doors in 1999, a strong foundation was laid in tandem with an ideological infrastructure of the arts as an academic field. The Academy is a structure combining in a single workplace the roles of a seat of knowledge and a centre for experimentation, in addition to serving as a sort of network or community hub for all who work there. The Academy’s goal is to cultivate the artistic talents of its students, on the basis of knowledge and professionalism. Furthermore, the Academy trains students in critical thinking so they can build a future on their own terms and interactive with the present.

Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir