The sculptural, display, location and forgetful memory
thesisposted on 2023-08-30, 13:57 authored by Jamie George
This thesis explores the nature of contemporary sculptural practices in relation to the broader field of installed sculpture (which deploy articulated, interrelated, but autonomous components) and in the context of recent approaches to both curation and display. The artistic work and attendant commentary constitute a response to the issues of sculptural agency and display raised by both the practice-based outcomes and key works of several contemporary artists: Gabriel Kuri, Gedi Sibony, Melanie Counsell, Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Michael Dean. In a number of exhibitions ‘post-installation’ practices and the function of ‘montage’ sculpture is examined. Through outlining the current landscape of sculptural production and medium specificity a progressive notion of the monument is established. The sculptural artwork is seen to retain a political resistance, as both art-object and thing in the world. An assessment is made of how sculptures produce space within and through their exhibition context, directly related to the production of space as a whole (a social morphology posited by Henri Lefebvre). Applying a conception of time in reference to spatial production opens up the artwork’s potential to draw on complex codes of mnemonic function, which can potentially generate emancipatory agency from ideological issues in late-capitalism. Re-readings of key installed works by Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Mark Dean, through contexts derived from Nietzsche and Mark Fisher, reveal how sculptures can activate specific mnemonic codes, or collective memory. Such art works utilise a ‘forgetful memory’ – a reflexive process of positing, junking and reimagining relationships to cultural information. The body of artistic work produced for this research, intertwined with its critical reflection, makes an original contribution to knowledge by interrogating theoretically and experientially the potentials of ‘the sculptural’, as part of the plural production of art and exhibition-making. By means of practice and its outcomes, the research engages the current dynamics of spatial production and radicality of sculptural objecthood. The work examines the complex relationships between social memory and historicity, with which sculpture in an exhibition environment can engage.
InstitutionAnglia Ruskin University
- Accepted version