Participatory Art: Ceramic and social praxis

Peters, T. 2017. Participatory Art: Ceramic and social praxis. Clay Matters: Thinking and exhibiting matter in recent art. Hasselt, Belgium 17 - 18 Nov 2017

TitleParticipatory Art: Ceramic and social praxis
AuthorsPeters, T.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

The field of contemporary ceramic art encompasses a wide range of productions; long-established concerns with functional and non-functional expressive artefacts and sculpture have more recently been joined by installation works and site-specific interventions, ephemeral and performative pieces, and participatory art projects. The contemporary critical discourses that surround art made using ceramic materials display a range of contrasting - even contradictory - understandings that underscore the complexity of the medium, as well as the differing perspectives of its fine art and craft practitioners. In this presentation my focus is on individual participatory art practices. While I acknowledge that artists coming from fine art and craft backgrounds make use of ceramic materials and processes with essentially different approaches and attitudes, I consider how each artist’s level of knowledge of the medium impacts on the kinds of activities and level of involvement extended to participants. On the basis of my findings, and taking into account Rancière’s examination of the contradictions involving the active and passive positions of the viewer/or participant, I argue that, whenever its activities centre on the ceramics field, participatory art’s aspiration to promote new kinds of emancipatory social relations would best be served by those with a ceramics training.

KeywordsParticipatory art, ceramics
Year2017
ConferenceClay Matters: Thinking and exhibiting matter in recent art
Accepted author manuscript

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