CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Victor Pasmore Gallery

Posted in Audiences and, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 12, 2019

View of Victor Pasmore Gallery

Small selection of works by Victor Pasmore who lived in his later life on Malta.

Very clear sense of Pasmore’s Modernist understanding of the way the artwork is a thing in itself, not a representation or derivation. Curious if this links to ideas of Object Oriented Ontology?

Pasmore says, “Once independent, a painting becomes the sole visual object so that its content becomes totally immanent in its form and image, a condition which renders its meaning essentially potential. Emerging in anonymity, therefore, the new painting can become a sign or symbol of infinite extension, directly finding its place in the eye and mind of the spectator” (Images of colour 1983).

Harman says, “By ‘objects’ I mean unified realities – physical or otherwise – that cannot fully be reduced either downwards to their pieces or upwards to their effects.”

And goes on to say, “But for the arts, as for the social sciences, the greater danger is the upward reduction that paraphrases objects in terms of their effects rather than their parts. For it is dubious to claim that objects are utterly defined by their context, without any unexpressed private surplus.”

Obviously an artwork is a thing in the human world, but for Pasmore it is not a communication, a message, between the artist and the spectator. It is a thing in itself, not reducible to a representation.

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Audiences and … pt5

Posted in Audiences and by chrisfremantle on June 7, 2019

This thread records bit and pieces that seem relevant to thinking about the complexity and many dimensions of art in the world.

Although my colleague Anne Douglas might ask for a tougher and more careful articulation of the ways in which improvisation is operating here, Francois Matarasso’s piece is a pretty good articulation of what we know to be possible and opens up what he means by Community Art pretty effectively.

Community art is improvisation

Audiences and… pt4

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on May 7, 2019

Lucas Ihlein’s short essay on blogging and how he uses it as part of a situated practice (whether in local communities or communities of interest) opens up interesting questions about exoticisim and neighbourliness, seeing the familiar and how to make it strange, as well as the use of a blog as a form of interaction.

Blogging as art, art as research

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Audiences and… pt3

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on March 7, 2019

Reflecting on what it means to put someone at the centre of making art… Projects Director for ArtLink, Alison Stirling’s thoughts published on the Creative Scotland website.

The more they work together, the more the person at the centre benefits; the clearer the idea the more the person at the centre benefits; the more artists and thinkers are involved, the more the person at the centre benefits; the more time they spend learning from each other, the more the person at the centre benefits.

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Audiences and… pt1

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 10, 2018

I had an interesting conversation recently. Someone said to me. “I get irritated when I ask an artist how they think the viewer of the work will respond to something they are working on. They often say that they are making the work for themselves. When I ask them whether they want people to see the work, they say Of course. When I ask them who, they say People.” We are here talking about studio based work, work that is made and then shown, but this brings up larger issues.

And there is a truth that anyone making work in a studio in the end is making something to a personal agenda. And neither of us were thinking that making art was a form of marketing where a clear sense of the intended audience, segmented and analysed, was central to the process. Working in public places is almost always a negotiation.

So I’m going to be exploring this question, drawing attention to writing that I think helps address the question, “What is the relationship between the artist and the audience, participant, collaborator, co-creator, etc?” There will be a series of posts and they’ll all have the Title “Artists and…” Some may just be links to other pieces of writing – where relevant I’ll provide pdfs too.

The first is from Anne Douglas’ forthcoming publication in the Connected Communities Series for Policy Press.

Anne recently wrote, speaking of Allan Kaprow and John Cage,

…they shared the question of where creativity begins and ends – with the composer, with the performer and/or with the audience? This shift in the power of creative agency is poignantly evidenced at this early stage in Cage’s 4’33” (1952). The performer sits at the grand piano but does not play it. Instead the ritual of a classical performance frames ambient sound creating an environment that is sensory and, importantly, draws the audience, performer and composition together in a shared space connected through listening. The conventional hierarchy in which the (active) composer generates material that the performer (as mediator) realises to a (passive) audience gives way to new configuration. The listener, who could be composer or performer or a member of the audience, becomes the creator of his/her own singular experience of sound.

Douglas, A. 2019 Redistributing Power? A Poetics of Participation in Contemporary Arts. Bristol: Polity Press.

You can download the book from the Connected Communities website

(pdf Douglas Redistributing Power)

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