Tracing the social contract of photography: How do we evidence the collaborative social engagement process in photography without undermining the value of the final visual outcome?
The thesis sets out the theoretical framework for which the practice-based research is delivered, supporting but challenging to what extent, there is a ‘social contract’, inherent in photography as argued by Azoulay. The framework pays consideration to photography’s conflicted history, positioned between Rancière’s thinking of photography as a “trace of the true” against Sontag’s view of photography as enabling the “voyeuristic stroller”. For the purposes of this research, which actively privileges the process of social engaged practice in photography, weight is given to Rancière’s and Azoulay’s argument. The thesis further explores the principles of Helguera’s layers of participation, which discusses different approaches socially engaged art practitioners use for their collaboration with others. I specifically focus on the creative and collaborative participation methodology, which enables the most active and accessible approach to co-authoring art projects.
Reading Socially Engaged Book Art: Establishing New Dialogues
To construct a critical framework in which to read socially engaged book art (2000 to present day), with reference to selected case studies, through the mapping of connections between production methods, themes and book forms.
In Search of the Shortcuts – The Past in the Present. How walking and narrative interact in physically embodied space, virtual space and psychological space, in the context of a self-initiated artistic residency.
In Search Of The Shortcuts is a practice-led research project carried out from the perspective of an artist. By engaging in a practical and theoretical analysis of how walking and narrative interact in physical, virtual and psychological realms, it asserts that this interaction is vital for defining space. A self-initiated artistic residency is both central to the methodology of the project and enriched by the knowledge gained through the research. In Search Of The Shortcuts situates the past in the present, a shared affective experience around the suburban spaces of the artist’s childhood in Wythenshawe, which lies on the outer fringes of South Manchester. The artist also addresses the relationship between expanded drawing methods and narrative representation, in order to explore how the influence of Wythenshawe and the socio-political context of the 1980s have impacted on his practice.
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