Monday, 14 December 2009

Spatiality and Identity

When objects and artworks are exhibited in different spaces, how are their identities and meanings altered? In 'Embarking on a Journey with Prayer', Magnus Gestsson and Serena Iervolino conducted a research project addressing just this question. Through the presentation of an artwork called 'Prayer' in different sites around the city of Leicester, and filming the results, the research project captured how the meaning of artefacts shifts and changes depending upon the surrounding environment. Interviewing passers-by addressed this question, and showed the possible forms of response - understanding the object as a visual, emotionally affective, politically relevant or commercially viable item. But what might be an overlooked question, is the impact of the spatiality of an object upon the interpretation of the presenters of that art. How is the presentation of art and artefact as revealed to a curator or exhibit designer productive in the meanings and responses of that individual?

The presentation of art in 'third spaces' or social spaces or times where traditional boundaries might be broken can show up the artwork very differently. It can bring a dreamspace into the everyday, and build imaginative constructs in the minds of passers by. But perhaps, to follow Bourriard (2009), that journey which is taken by the presenters of the art is also a piece of art in itself.

Well. Sandwiches have arrived: time for a break now!

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