Institute of Research in Fine Arts - IRAV

Art and research have become indispensable ingredients of tertiary-level teaching practice, museums and the publishing industry. The professionalisation of research and international partnerships have led to the emergence of doctoral programmes and methodological models such as ‘practice-focused research’, ‘art research’, or even ‘artistic research’.

The aim of the Institute of Research in Fine Arts is to examine questions about the relationship between art and research by means of epistemological, historical and contemporary approaches. Offering a space for idea-sharing and transdisciplinary creations, the Institute’s activities are drawn up with close reference to the teaching programme, its topics and the teaching methodologies devised for use in the Fine Arts Bachelor’s degree programme and the Master of Arts in Public Spheres. One of the Institute’s key research areas relates to sound. Sound as a medium of art, a means of conveying creative proposals, is studied with regard to its relationship to archiving and heritage. Different approaches to listening to and producing sound are explored. The other main avenue of research relates to architecture. What approach might we take to architecture and teaching in the future? The plan for the new EDHEA campus, scheduled for opening in 2026, has given rise to this question, which is an invitation to explore the interfaces between construction and art, the environment and design and well-being and work.

The dialogue that has been started between researchers active in the region allows the Institute to gain a variety of perspectives and position artistic research in the near orbit of other disciplines. In this way, the Institute strengthens cooperation with the research institutes of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis and various artistic partnerships, whilst working with artistic and academic communities at national and international level. The Institute of Research in Fine Arts also wishes to underline the mission which underpins it, that is, facilitating the cross-pollination of cultural identities and using its skills in the arts field to promote the mixing of genres and liberation from geographical, mental, social and discipline-related restrictions. The Institute belongs to the Réseau de Compétences Design et Arts visuels de la HES-SO (RCDAV – the Network of Excellence in Design and Visual Arts), the Swiss Artistic Research Network (SARN) and the Swiss Graduate Network of Use-Inspired Research in Design, Film and Art (SwissGradNet).

Head of the institute
Jelena Martinovic

Benoît Antille, Valérie Félix, Christophe Fellay, Robert Ireland, Petra Koehle, Jérôme Leuba, Marie Sacconi, Daniel Schmid, Marie Velardi, Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin

Scientifics and artistics associates
Bertrand Emaresi, Christian Indermuhle, Evelyn Steiner, Maximilien Urfer

Administrative assistant
Christophe Constantin

Selection of projects

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