Exploring contexts: contemporary artists' engagement with site

Lead Research Organisation: Kingston University
Department Name: Sch of Art and Design History


This project explores contemporary artists' strategies of engagement with particular spaces and places. It takes as its starting point artists' challenge to the traditional spaces of the gallery and the production and siting of work beyond institutional frameworks. It looks at a range of art practices from 1990s to today and asks a series of questions about how artists engage with particular sites and audiences. In particular, it addresses the way in which work which is concerned with process and time inserts itself into the public domain and how the notion of 'public' itself is constituted through such engagement.
Initially focused on the work commissioned by art organisation Locust, the project has shifted to encompass diverse practices in Britain today.
The first part of the discussion centres on some of the key debates and issues that form part of a developing discourse around notions of site-specific practice, art in public places and engagement and participation of audiences.
The second part draws on a more specific case study examining the practices of artist collective Public Works whose practice consists of creating objects and situations in the public domain and which conceives of place through the notion of audience and their participation in the work.


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