Nietzsche comes to Richland

Richland’s philosophy and art departments recently collaborated on an exhibit of art pieces depicting student interpretations of aphorisms, or pithy observations that contain general truths, by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The exhibition is on view in the Lago Vista Gallery in Lavaca Hall through Friday. 

The interdisciplinary topic “We Teach Nietzsche” originated with adjunct philosophy professor Jill Drouillard who proposed the topic to discipline coordinator Luisa Benton. She, in turn, brought in art professor Marian Lefeld.

“We found the idea very interesting and we had our students create visual representations of Nietzsche’s aphorisms,” said Lefeld. “Both art students, philosophy students and faculty had a conversation to balance back and forth ideas and also approximations to this visual representation of Nietzsche’s work.”

Art students who participated in the assignment were given some of Nietzsche’s statements. The visual interpretations of Nietzsche’s quotes affected each student in a different way.

“The way they turned out had to do with the students’ reading of the aphorism that they chose,” said Benton. “We’re hoping both students get something out of the project.”

This interdisciplinary exhibition helped philosophy students understand that text can be interpreted into something visual or artistic and art students learned that something philosophical or thought provoking could be incorporated into their pieces.  Both departments plan to do the project again next year and invite more professors to join in.