Artists Cannot Bring Integrity To Your Project Unless They Provide A Full And Candid Critique Of Everything You Do, Sheffield Hallam University

Performance/Text/Photograph, 2006

EAST International 2006, Selectors Dirk Snauwaert & Jeremy Deller, Norwich Gallery, UK. 10 July- 19 August 2006

Presented by B+B at Art and Architecture Journal’s Conference Art in the City – Creativity, Property and Cultural Regeneration. November 2005, London

This work challenges the relationship between the artist and the agencies that commission works by them. The work was developed from an invitation to provide an image for the Art and Architecture Journal’s Conference, Art in the City – Creativity, Property and Cultural Regeneration. Instead of supplying the requested image, we developed a critical work that questioned the role and function of socially engaged art. The statement contrasts the perceived value of socially engaged art – the integrity that it represents – with the perceived benefits to the institution that associates itself with that integrity – the possibility of an uncompromising critique of the institution itself.

The photograph shows the statement being held aloft by students from the Fine Art BA course at Sheffield Hallam University. They become the spokespeople for the critical response to the arts agency and our resistance to the commissioning institution is voiced through another institution. In this way, the image speaks of a fantasy that the resistance to the institution has become institutionalized through education. In doing so the sentence is mildly disturbed, the group of students making the sentence they are holding less readable than if it were printed as a conventional poster. The sentence does not overly control the positions of the individuals. As such, the organization of the individuals in the photograph is analogous to the relationship that the statement calls for between the artist and the institution – as free rather than a functionary.

Thanks to the students from Sheffield Hallam University.

Download poster (pdf, 7mb)

Artists Cannot Bring Integrity To Your Project Unless They Provide A Full And Candid Critique Of Everything You Do, EAST International 06




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