research product . 2021

Socially engaged practice in contemporary art : ‘Home’ as a case study

Pham, Minh;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2021
  • Country: Finland
Socially engaged practice is a relatively young artform compared to other practices in contemporary art, evolved from avantgarde movements in the early 20th century to the 1960s, 1970s performance and conceptual art. In spite of its late presence, the gravitation of contemporary art towards social framework has been rapidly increasing around the world to almost a global phenomenon during the last decades. Although collaboration and participation in art are not exceptionally innovative, they bring a new trend of redefining art’s role in modern life. The objective of this study was to assess the artistic process, approach, experience as well as acquire general knowledge and explore possible challenges of working with people experiencing homelessness in the artmaking context. This thesis provides an overview of the socially engaged practice from the 1990’s and explores various prevalent arguments about social practice art in criticism: how should it be considered art, its aesthetic elements, participatory artists interchangeable roles with activists and ethical evaluation. The research was conducted by analyzing a collection of various literature sources, in which an analysis of the art historian and critic Claire Bishop’s Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship played an essential part. An interview with the artist Willie Baronet was also organized to study his working process in his decade-long project ‘We Are All Homeless’. Several artworks of contemporary artists in the US and Europe using participatory art to raise political issues such as homelessness and poverty were also examined. Lastly, the author’s socially engaged artwork Home was carefully analyzed and self-reflected upon. Home is a participatory artwork exhibited in the graduation show Kaleidoscopers 2021 which explores the theme of relationships and home to the subjects of homelessness.
free text keywords: Fine Arts, fi=Kuvataide|sv=Bildkonst|en=Fine arts|, art, community art, contemporary art, homelessness (lack of home), artists, fine arts, artistic work, Media and Arts
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