Event Date: 16 May 2011
Royal Holloway Central London
11 Bedford Square
London, WC1E 6DP
Collaborative Art: Practices, Spaces, Communities
This workshop aims to interrogate and develop conceptual understandings of collaborative art practices by bringing together a broad range of practitioners and scholars. While a critical stance towards the relations between artists, audiences and institutions can be traced from early Modernist movements such as Dada through The Situationists to the myriad groups emerging from the 1970s such as Group Material and The Guerrilla Girls, recent years have seen a flowering of interest in forms of ‘relational art’ which propose to take the sphere of human relations as the site and object of artistic production. Nicolas Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics (1998) is regularly cited as a catalyst for recent debates on art and social relations, and the proliferation of art collectives and collaborative groups such as The Bernadette Corporation, Claire Fontain, The Otholith Group, Slavs and Tatars, Temporary Services and Ultra-red, has given renewed vigour to questions concerning the relationship between artistic production, subjectivity and community. Critical debates that have arisen in the wake of relational aesthetics have critiqued the political assumptions attached to the term, questioned its framing as an historical departure, and sought to further examine the potential collaborative and participatory approaches offer for a deeper engagement between art and the political. To engage in forms of collaborative artistic production is to continually negotiate tensions relating to the agency of participants, authorship within cultural production, and understandings of community. How do art practices which might be characterized as collaborative question conceptions of the creative process, aesthetic paradigms, and the relationship between artist, audience, and work? How do the spaces of artistic collaboration bear on these concerns and shape the forms of subjectivity that emerge through such practices? This workshop will offer a chance to focus on the practical dimensions of collaborative and participatory work, and participants are encouraged to discuss collaboration in relation to their own experiences, projects, and conceptual motivations.
John Roberts – Professor of Art and Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton