Magnificent monsters: a place for the social artist in visual art

Lawson, Alexandra (2015) Magnificent monsters: a place for the social artist in visual art. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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The thesis proposes that social artists (also known as participatory/live/socially engaged artists) are currently displaced, due to the use of everyday activities and objects to facilitate their artwork. As a result, social artworks have been traditionally unable to self-identify as art, and are often misread and misrepresented through a variety of other fields (such as theatre, politics, pedagogy) both historically and within current debates. Neither historical nor current theoretical discourses regarding social art position the artist as central within the limited discussion of social artwork. Instead
the main theoretical focus, both currently and historically, is centred on the participation of the individual in a social experience, and the outcomes that are a result of that individual’s participation. At present, the social artist is located in an ominous position due to social artworks being based on the misrepresentation and poor positioning of social art within various unrelated fields and debates.

The claim of this doctoral thesis is that social artists require their own ideological place, in which their work can be read within its own discipline (i.e. visual art), rather than being discussed through politics, etc. This argument will show that it is crucial for the continuing acknowledgement of social art practices to be read within their own place, in order to contextualise social artists and their practices within a visual art context and to distinguish them from politics itself. This thesis aims to reposition the social artist and create an ideological place for the artist to be regarded as vital in visual art. This will be done by creating a strategic model that is based on the intention of the social artist. This strategic model will be deployed in order to measure the value of the artist in both traditional object-based art and social art. The thesis will argue that the social artist is as valuable to the creation of social art as the traditional artist is to the creation of traditional/modern art objects for visual pleasure. Therefore social art deserves a place, to be acknowledged and understood within visual art practice and
associated theory and criticism.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Supervisors: Jenkins, Dr Kyle
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2016 01:58
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2016 01:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: social, artists, self-identify, debate, misrepresented, discipline, ideological place
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified

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