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Speak22a


Art, response, and responsibility I 
Convenors:
Elizabeth Hallam (University of Oxford)
Clare Harris (University of Oxford)
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Discussant:
Clare Harris (University of Oxford)
Stream:
Who Speaks and for Whom?
Sessions:
Wednesday 31 March, 14:15-15:45 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

We invite presentations from artists and anthropologists to explore issues of response and responsibility through art practices and art works grounded in particular material contexts. Investigations in any area of practice are welcome, including drawing, mixed media, photography, video and sound.

Long Abstract

If art entails and demands more than an 'aesthetic response' (Gell, 1998), how might current anthropological work on and with art and artists generate fresh insights with regard to responsibility? This panel invites presentations, from both artists and anthropologists, to explore issues of response and responsibility through art practices and art works that are grounded in particular material situations and contexts.

Artists have adopted, and advocated, various positions on responsibility and its reverse: surrealist activity in the 1920s rejected it to embrace forms of freedom; a century later artists' work foregrounds, or urges, responsible and ethical action, as in bio art, eco art and critical/collaborative installations and projects (see Helmreich and Jones, 2018).

This panel explores how responsibilities are produced, assigned, and questioned by art - for its makers, its curators/exhibitors, its viewers/receivers, its owners, and its destroyers. We ask how art practices and works provoke consideration of responsibility in relation to urgent social, economic, political, and ecological issues, as in the case of art concerned with climate change, colonialism, inequality, urban decay, or waste, for example. How does the making of art open up different perspectives, motivate action, and facilitate interventions in difficult or problematic situations? Can anthropologists engage with art and artists to more fully understand and sensitively refigure their responsibilities in anthropological work, including teaching, research, method design, theorising, and communication beyond the discipline.

Presentations from anthropologists and artists working with/on any area of practice are welcome, including drawing, mixed media, photography, video, and sound.

Accepted papers: