Who makes a work of art? How is artwork affected by the context in which it is presented? Explore some of the ideas about context and authorship that have influenced contemporary artists
As the civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s gathered momentum, the archetypal Modern artist – Western, white, male, bourgoise and heterosexual, the notion of the creative genius and originality – came under attack.
There was a new emphasis and assertion of individual, subjective positions and this lead to a great awareness of the subjective nature of both the producer and receiver of art and a desire to interrogate and complicate this relationship and the context in which art is being generated. These critical positions are key to understanding developments in so called Post-Modern art from the 1970s onwards.
“One thing I like about my work is all the different ways it can be in the world (…) A local could walk by and not notice it, or notice it and not know anything about me. Or someone could come upon a circle and know it was a circle of mine. I really like the notion of the visibility or invisibility of the work as well as the permanence and transience” - Richard Long
'Space Place', one of the first at Modern Art Oxford, had ideas of context and authorship at its heart.
"This constructed space is our attempt to demonstrate an idea - the idea is a place for the people - a place where you can meet - to look - to feel - to listen - to move - to laugh - to cry - to love - to protest - a place for the people."
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