05th June 2009

Proposal no.5

The artists are taking over….

The role of art in society is essentially engaging in a dialogue.  This dialogue can happen between fellow audience members, the artist and the audience or even the work on display and the audience and more recently the idea of dialogue between artist and curator.  During recent years we have seen a renewed interest in collective activities throughout the art world.  For some this offers up a more alternative working method moving away from the idea of an artist as an individual.
Socially engaged practice, where the artist’s interest in the social sphere has lent itself to the exploration of subjects from everyday life, and to interventions in the systems that structure ways of living.  This can allow in my experience a real and didactic conversation to take place between artist and public and make a gallery or institution the central location for this conversation.  Questions of how the value of such collaboration and dialogue between artist and the public (and participant in the realms of socially engaged practice), have ethical concerns and do they outweighed the concerns of aesthetics of the art work itself?

With this in mind I propose that over a period of one year, a group of artists (who’s practice is involved in social engagement) take over the running of a small rural village.  All aspects of the planning and running of the village must involve artistic and creative solutions and engagement with the community must be paramount.   Each artist will have a specific role within the community. All artists involved must contribute to the town planning by commissioning a community centre/permanent exhibition space, and artists must bequeath a original artwork to the town.

The project will be documented and its findings will be published, in an book which will serve part artist monograph, part white paper of successful social engagement, part report on the involvement of artists within community planning.

Possible Artists: Nathan Coley, Johanna Billing, 16Beaver, Anton Vidokle, Janfamily.

M. James

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