creator doctus

Yael Davids first candidate Creator Doctus research trajectory

Artist Yael Davids is the first candidate for the new research trajectory for artists: Creator Doctus (CrD). This research trajectory is initiated by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum and supported by the Mondriaan Fund. As a pilot of this trajectory, Davids will develop artistic research in the period 2017 through 2019, which will result in a series of artworks. 

The Research: A Daily Practice

The focus of Davids' research A Daily Practice is on somatic learning and consists of three phases. The research, supervised by the Van Abbemuseum and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, is inspired by the work of Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais. He developed a method for people to change bodily habits from within. This method has played an important role in Davids' artistic practice in the last years.

In the first phase Davids' realised A Reading That Loves - A Physical Act for documenta 14. In Athens the work manifested as an installation and in Kassel as a performance-installation. The work combines moments when Davids' own personal biography intersects with history and the life stories of four women - each a cultural historical icon in their own right. The four female protagonists suffered complex societal conflicts in which each was confronted with the limits and creativity of their own self. 

In the second phase of the research the position of somatic learning in primary education in the Netherlands is central. This phase combines theoretical and artistic research with workshops in Eindhoven for professionals in primary education. The Feldenkrais method allows a non-normative exploration of one's own body movements, to form your own sense of self, independent of existing conventions. This method can form a valuable addition to current primary education. 

Davids' workshops will take place in the framework of the recently opened Werksalon in the Van Abbemuseum.

In the third and last phase, Davids' together with Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Van Abbemuseum and partners in primary education wants to explore if somatic learning can be embedded in current educational practice

Creator Doctus (CrD)

The title Creator Doctus (CrD) is set up by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie as a new three-year research trajectory within the so-called 'third cycle' of higher education. The trajectory will result in a series of artworks, rather than a written dissertation. These answer research questions formulated by the artists within the context of framework provided by a commissioning partner, in this case the Van Abbemuseum. At the end of the three years the results are presented to an evaluation committee, the involved partners and the public. If judged sufficient the artist will be awarded the title Creator Doctus (CrD). The title will serve to help promote the degree of profession and skill of the artist. To obtain European recognition the title is developed in collaboration with several European partners.

Initiator and partner


The research programme is sponsored by Mondriaan Fund.