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Student Story: Luca Asta, MA Contemporary Art Practice, 2017–

Luca Asta
Luca Asta
Photographer: Mathis Hang Zhang
Luca Asta joined the RCA Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) Programme after studying Fine Art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, in France. Luca co-leads the RCA Q.U.E.E.R Society (Queer Union Ethics Engaging Anti-Racism).

When did you first hear about the RCA, and why did you decide to study here?

I feel I’ve always known about the RCA. But it was the Contemporary Art Practice Programme’s Moving Image Pathway that really appealed to me because at the time my work was using the language of cinema and trying to deconstruct it. I was looking for an opportunity to engage with moving image while still exploring other media. Having access to all this in a critical environment felt right for where my practice was at.

Can you describe what it’s like studying at the RCA?

There’s always a lot happening. It can be a lot to handle sometimes. But, at the same time, very few things are mandatory. You can’t expect to be told things, instead you have access to many opportunities to evolve your practice. It’s great because you can be independent.

Have you been set any particular projects that you have found rewarding?

This year I have co-lead the Q.U.E.E.R Society, which stands for Queer Union Ethics Engaging Anti-Racism. This has been a great way to meet students and establish cross-disciplinary opportunities across such a big school. We’ve organised exhibitions, workshops, crits, social gatherings. This has inspired my own practice and opened doors for assistance and collaboration. I’ve always found that I learn more when I seek things out rather than wait for them, and in this case the RCA Q.U.E.E.R Society has enabled that.

Luca Asta, Security Blankets, 2018, Video still
Security Blankets, Luca Asta 2018
Video still

What is the mixture of students like, and what are the benefits of being in an international community?

The Royal College of Art is internationally diverse and has opened my eyes to different cultures. Coming from abroad, this was important to me. Some CAP students have been working for years on their practice before looking for a MA at the RCA; others, like me, have come straight from BAs. Some have no background in art education. Together, we have varied eyes, languages, and perspectives.

What have you found to be the main differences between your expectation of studying at the RCA and the reality?

I wasn’t expecting to be able to involve all of my counter-cultural interests, but, within London and the RCA as a whole, I’ve been able to challenge myself through new ways of thinking. Unfortunately intersectional feminism, queer and decolonial critical thinking remain too much inaccessible where I’m from. Implementing this, within myself and my practice has helped me grow a lot.


Find out more about MA Contemporary Art Practice and how to apply.