This foundation year consists of basic practical and theoretical studies, with a wide-ranging artistic orientation. Success in Year 1 gives access to the different short and long programmes offered by France's various art schools, leading to the following diplomas: DNAT, DNAP, DNSEP.
These practical and theoretical programmes aim to give students the greatest possible exposure to different domains of creativity, and to provide them with a sound cultural education and a sense of autonomy, accompanied by a familiarisation with the necessary methods and techniques.
S equential development
The first year of the programme represents a transition from either secondary school education or active professional life, and a starting point for further study, in a university or elsewhere, leading to a concrete engagement in a particular field of creativity. It requires an acceptance of risk-taking, a sense of curiosity, receptiveness to a wide variety of aesthetic experience, the acuity of a certain relationship to the world, a capacity for autonomy and a considerable input of work and energy.
In order to make this formula work optimally, the first year programme is common to all the ENSBA's students. It is divided into two semesters, which are complementary and distinct in their objectives.
First semester: from October to the end of January
A maximum of openness is ensured by initiations into the different Sections, short exercises and precise guidelines, along with general studies. There is an emphasis on the importance of the relationship between doing, seeing and perceiving.
Second semester: from February to the end of June
The students must show themselves capable of ever greater autonomy. There is an introduction to the different Options, with intensive workshops. In their personal research, the students begin to develop their faculty of critical analysis with regard to their formal experience. They progressively discover the tenor of their future orientations, along with their axes of commitment. In the examination at the end of the second semester, they have an opportunity to demonstrate their motivation, enthusiasm and aptitude to undertake more advanced studies through their theoretical approach and practical work.
Attendance is obligatory in Year 1. The end-of-year commission may consider long and/or unjustified absences to have compromised the acquisition of the skills necessary to the successful completion of this foundation year. Justifications for such absences should be submitted to the teaching secretariat.
The development of a capacity for personal work and research
This objective is achieved within the different study programmes by exercises that focus on targetted working methods and individual initiatives.
The development of an analytical faculty
A capacity for analysis is indispensable to the successful pursuit of a study programme at the ENSBA, as an integral part of the practical teaching work. This is the purpose, in particular, of the general studies module.
The conceptualisation of a relationship to the world
The aim of the practical work, beyond the acquisition of the necessary technical knowledge, and familiarisation with a variety of methods, is the development of a project and the student's functinoal independence. Study trips to major centres of creativity, and information about current trends, with weekly seminars featuring prominent representatives of contemporary culture, also contribute to the achievement of this objective.
Familiarisation with the technical knowledge and conceptual tools necessary to the successful completion of a study programme
Technical knowledge is central to all the practical and theoretical work. But is never an end in itself. The emphasis is placed on the personal acquisition of knowledge.
Report on the first semester
A collective assessment process is carried out by the teaching staff, in the form of an oral interview centring on a set of works, scores and production in the course of initiation weeks and research carried out during the semester. These elements should give an idea of the progress achieved by the student over the first semester, with an analysis of strong and weak points. The process is intended to test students' commitment within the general field of creativity. The results are communicated to the students.
A written report, accompanied by a notification of the number of credits obtained, is produced by the teaching staff. The coordinator interviews those students who, it is felt, need to show more motivation during the second semester.
Examination at the end of Year 1
The end-of-year examination (or an analysis and synthesis of research work) is integrated into the report on the second semester. It comprises:
• an interview in the course of which the members of the panel evaluate the students' work, and question them on it;
• the submission of a document (or project dissertation) in which the student sets out his artistic references and personal engagement in the general field of creativity. This document is judged on its presentation and style, and also on the iconographic research it represents. Success in the examination is based on the student's practical and theoretical knowledge and skills as a whole. It is indispensable to the student's continued participation in a programme of study at the ENSBA, or any other French art school, and gives access to the ENSBA's second year, for which 60 ECTS credits are necessary. The panel's decisions are sovereign, and are posted on the school's noticeboard.
Decisions on admission to the third semester are taken by the Director, based on the panel's proposals. An academic year cannot be repeated except in case of serious illness or accident.
The project dissertation
Drawing on coursework and seminars, as well as their own research and visits to exhibitions, the students choose the ideas they consider to be most salient. It is essential for them to establish links between their ideas and the chosen iconography, so that they can define the field of research they will develop.
The project dissertation consists of a written text (approximately ten typed pages), accompanied by images that represent a personal iconographic research project and work on aesthetic form, in coherently constructed, lucid form. The presentation, writing style and iconographic research are also evaluated. In the second semester, the development of the project dissertation is supervised by the teachers of practical and theoretical subjects.
The deadline for the submission of the dissertation (the original, plus two copies) is announced at the end of the first semester. The panel evaluates the relevance of the ideas in relation to the student's aesthetic practice, artistic references and personal engagement in the general field of creativity.
Collective evaluation is carried out by a panel comprising the Year 1 coordinator and teachers from other Options, or indeed outside members. It takes the form of an interview in which the student takes the panel round an installation of works produced in the second semester, some contributions from the first semester, the orientation of the formal choices and the dissertation. The panel's verdict also takes into account the quantity and quality of the work produced, the student's progress in the first and second semesters, and the development of his analytical and critical capacities, but also his acquisition of practical and theoretical knowledge. In coming to its decision, the panel consults the teachers who have been involved in the two semesters.
Introduction to the courses
Introduction to the general studies programme
Cultural knowledge in general, along with theories and history of art in particular, are essential to the elaboration of projects and work, and carry as much weight as aesthetic research in the end-of-year examination. They play a central role in the students' education and evaluation. The point is for each student to be infused with a desire to choose his own mix of reading, works and investigations. Rather than experiencing knowledge as something fixed and closed in upon itself, elitist and alien, the students discover the essentially open, problematic nature of knowledge, and make it their natural, everyday fare.
In general, the teachers engage in the transmission of a working method that results in both a slowing-down and a stimulation of thought processes, as well as an expansion of knowledge.
It is necessary to understand that the field of knowledge, like that of art, is open-ended and potentially conflictual. Positions and opinions can clash. It is desirable that the creativity embodied in intellectual work should be perceptible right from the start.
Introduction to the courses on formal practices
This section of the programme leads to the foundation and compilation – via forms – of materials, media and techniques, and insists on the part that coursework and visits to exhibitions play in the student's learning experience. It is a focus of continuous movement without hierarchy between practice and the emergence of perception, methods and the articulation of a relationship to the world, sensibility and the development of a capacity for analysis. Experience and experiments are essential, as is a knowledge of codes; but an appreciation of distance and otherness with regard to codes is also useful. It is a process of "matter formulation" that leads to the discovery of the student's aesthetic personality.
These courses bring into play two workshops, as well as specific drawing and presentation studios. They are collective spaces, which means that simple rules of mutual respect and conditions of concentration are important. The workshops and studios are modulable and transformable, flexible in terms of utilisation. The students need to be respectful of these work spaces.
Visits to exhibitions
Study trips to major centres of creativity in France and elsewhere are given great importance by the school. They allow the student to discover contemporary art in situ; and regular, autonomous visits to these centres are a fundamental part of the study programme.
The school pays for transport by coach, and part of the entrance fees. The remainder is paid by the students.
NB According to the destination, ID or residence permits may need to be presented. Also, the security regulations in force at the different establishments must be strictly respected.
Marie de BRUGEROLLE
Dispositifs / Peinture
Monday & Tuesday
Volume / Installation
Histoire de l’art
Thursday & Friday
Thursday & Friday
David RENAUD [Coordinateur]
Monday & Tuesday