THEORETICAL CONTEXTS

This page explores some of the theoretical contexts that I believe underpin my artistic practice. 

RELATIONAL ART

"A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space."- Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics (1998)


I see my work as potentially coming under Bourriaud's definition of Relational Art, as my work removes the emphasis placed on the object and onto the social connections my work creates, in my case by removing the object entirely and creating the connections first hand. I also wrote about Relational Aesthetics in my previous essay- Can the foundations of Relational Aesthetics be found in the movement of Performance Art?

POST MATERIALISM

"Postmaterialism (is) value orientation that emphasizes self-expression and quality of life over economic and physical security. The term postmaterialism was first coined by American social scientist Ronald Inglehart in The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics (1977)."- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Another theoretical context that influences my own work is the concept of Post-Materialism. The societal shift from importance being placed on the physical (wealth, material possession etc) to the immaterial (human rights, freedom of speech, environmental concern) has influenced the medium that I decide to use, now often being non-object oriented such as performance and my involvement in community work with QUILT.

FEMINISM

Feminism could potentially be seen as a Theory of Art as well as a Movement of Art History, because of it being a defining movement of the 60s and 70s as well as an ever evolving set of ideas. Perhaps being a female using my body to create art is inherently 'feminist', but I use current issues such as female safety while walking home at night in A Line Made By Women, female representation within religion in To Dust You Will Return and discomfort at the female form in Labia Plates to inform my work. 

My involvement in feminism is also exterior to my art practice, being involved in protests and activism around gender and sexuality. 

MARXISM

Similarly to Feminism, my work is influenced by Marxism, both in it's historical significance and in my current involvement in socialism. My work in attempting to create a Working Class Community is evidence of this, in which I attempted to band together students from a similar upbringing to mine (Council Estate, Low paid single parent etc.) My current work is aiming to exploring ideas of materialism/post-materialism, commodification and the workforce, particularly artists who's body is used both to create anti-capitalist work but that also work under capitalism because of economic necessity (such as myself.) 

SECULARISM

Secularism plays more of a personal part in the context of my work, in terms of my experiences of previous involvement in religion, which I believe underpins the majority of my work, but particularly in Still Life , To Dust You Will Return and As Above, So Below (all the titles of which reference religious verses and concepts. I believe that the rest of the contexts I explore come under the umbrella of liberating myself from Religious ties, such as Feminism being used to rid myself of previous sexist ideologies, Marxist principles of religion being a tool of capitalism, and though being anti-material could be seen as a religious theme, I believe my interpretation of it as placing importance back on myself as an individual creates the antithesis to the supposed selflessness of religion.