In this class, designed for young people aged 13 to 17, Tim Rollins + K.O.S. lead a discussion about Duke Ellington’s The River, exploring its themes and ideas.
Following the discussion the class respond and make new work, adopting the experimental workshop format that Rollins + K.0.S. have developed over the past three decades while working together in the South Bronx area of New York City.
Approximate duration - 3 hours.
Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (Tim Rollins b. 1955, Pittsfield, Maine, USA). K.O.S (Kids of Survival) founded 1984, South Bronx, New York, USA.
In 1985, artist Tim Rollins moved from part-time teaching to full-time collaboration with a group of disadvantaged high-school students who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival).
Based in the South Bronx, one of New York's most deprived areas, the group came together initially through the after-school Art and Knowledge workshops that Rollins set up. Together, Rollins and his students developed a way of working that combined art-making with lessons in reading and writing.
In a process that they called 'jammin', Rollins or one of the K.O.S. would read aloud from a literary classic while the other members drew, relating the stories to their own experiences. In Rollins' words, 'what we're doing changes people's conception about who can make art, how art is made, who can learn and what's possible, because a lot of these kids had been written off by the school system. This is our revenge.'
The group has exhibited extensively worldwide and their work is represented in public and private collections including Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.