The vastly popular School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence via culture and philosophy. Founded by philosopher Alain De Botton in 2008 in London, there are now schools throughout the world, including in Melbourne. The School of Life invites its students to think intelligently about emotional concerns, through art, literature, film and architecture.

“We look at how artists, writers, philosophers and musicians have responded to deep and complex human emotions, and we seek to draw wisdom from their work,” says Daniel Teitelbaum, Head of Curriculum at The School of Life Australia. “For example, we read Tolstoy and contemplate what it can teach us about a fear of dying, or look at the poetry of Gertrude Stein or Ovid and consider what insight they offer around feeling alone or expressing love.”

The Lunchtime Philosophy series provides a deeper look into the philosophical context of themes present in performance art, both historically and in contemporary work. These talks incorporate discussions on views of the mind and consciousness, contemporary conceptions of time, solitude and the notion of ‘the void’.

The series draws our attention to the deep and challenging aspects of the human condition that are often revealed through the creative process. Abramović and other artists explore ideas of identity, intimacy, trust, vulnerability and risk. Through the Lunchtime Philosophy talks, the audience is invited to reflect upon and share their own insights, and to consider how the experience of performance art can be meaningfully extended into our everyday lives.

Lunchtime Philosophy is from 12.30-1.30pm on Thursday July 2 – Friday July 3, Upstairs at Pier 2/3.