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I don’t know what I’m looking for but I’ll know it when I see it

Research centre
Art and Design Research Centre

Date
2011

This research output is an international conference paper and e-book for the 1st Global conference on Space and Place organised by interdisciplinary.net.

This research output is an international conference paper and e-book for the 1st Global conference on Space and Place organised by interdisciplinary.net. The international conference attracted papers from a range of disciplines from archaeology, anthropology, history, politics, geography, and art.

Cultural geographer and philosopher, David Harvey, suggests that like space and time, place is a social construct and the only interesting question left to be asked on the subject is by what social process(es) place is constructed. This paper sets out to explore the construction methods employed by contemporary visual artists for whom place is central to their practice. Through a close study of two particular artists and art works, Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’ (Gateshead) and Jeremy Deller’s ‘Battle of Orgreave’ (Sheffield), two similar in theme but very different approaches to place-making and representation of place would be considered. The paper also allows for thoughts to emerge and be tested on the role serendipity and sagacity has on the formulation and reception of these works.

Specific approaches to place-making of an art work are historically retraced, revealing our understanding and desire to explore methods of representing place and how this enquiry has influenced our renewed contemporary interest and understanding of place. It is not possible to separate any study of place from that of space as both are intrinsically linked and are often interchangeable in literature and speech, therefore it becomes important to explore this relationship in some depth. The representation of place inheres many social and political forces, which form it and continue to condition our understanding of place. If place functions as a manifestation of those associations, then by extension, the space experience of an art work could be said to reside within the realm of place; space by virtue of our experience of it.

Researchers involved

Andrew Sneddon - Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Fine Art and course leader for BA (Hons) Creative Art Practices

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