A study of the relationship between art practice and citizenship.

SWINDELLS, Stephen. (2004). A study of the relationship between art practice and citizenship. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

PDF (Version of Record)
10701257.pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (12MB) | Preview


This research investigates the relationship between art practice and citizenship, raising questions on what the relationship might be from the perspective of an artist-citizen-researcher. The contextual research and the writing of the thesis was not conceived as an activity divorced from my art practice, so the theory, practice methods strove to situate the relationship between art and citizenship both inside and outside of the thesis; whereby the inherent practices of art and citizenship move in and out of aesthetic, ideological and scholarly activities. In practice, the text in this thesis is disrupted by the multiple voices of the artist, citizen and researcher. Content presented in the abstract refers to the experience of the artist, citizen and researcher. My art practice is demonstrated by individual exhibitions and collaborative work with other artists. Citizenship is demonstrated by reinvigorating a sense of communal values through the politics of self-sufficiency. I argue a 'localized' (avant-garde) art practice diametrically reflects citizenship through the articulation of an agonistic-led wishful-ness, which is first and foremost engaged with staking a place for contestation and difference to exist. The intended complicity between art practice and a socio-political field articulated in Nicolas Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics (1998) is counter-productive to an effective relationship between citizenship and art in context to a self-sustaining micropolitics. A micro-politics based upon communitarian values. Relational Aesthetics is criticized for its complicit participation in the particularity of neo-liberal politics. Atelier van Lieshout's AVL-Ville (1995-2000) provides a template of a heterogeneous, self-sufficient micro-politic, which I argue is best placed to resist the colonization of art and citizenship by undemocratic corporatism. It is in this context that this research contributes to the literature of Documental 1_Platform 1, Democracy Unrealised (2002), but opposes the literature of Relational Aesthetics (1998) by contesting the significance of a 'localized' art practice as a domain for the avant-garde. Local art practice, not as an international (liberal) canon, but as the configuration of an effective relationship between art and citizenship in the preservation of social difference and democracy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Fisher, Tom
Thesis advisor - Kivland, Sharon [0000-0003-4583-4677]
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:03
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20610

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics