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  • Practices of everyday emancipation: an artists' toolkit

Noronha Feio, Carlos, 2017, Thesis, Practices of everyday emancipation: an artists' toolkit PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Through practice-based research, I propose to reflect critically on my practicethrough a dialogue with the work of other artists and theorists that include
Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, Theaster Gates, Marine Hugonnier, and Claire Fontaine. I explore the possibility of self and collective emancipation from sedimented socio-historical and political violence. The
forms of violence that concern me are those produced by legacies of war,colonialism, economic ideologies and religious practices.
As an integral part of the methodology, I have selected examples of modern and contemporary artworks considered as being engaged with art's social significance. Through a dialogue with these artworks, I draw out
significant pressures and develop a toolkit of concepts: dispositif-of-dissent,able-agent, and universim. The selected examples of artworks suggest
potentially disseminable strategies of social, political, critical and ethical value.
Socially engaged art has been a constant presence for over a century, the Wanderers in Russia, William Morris in the UK, and Oswald de Andrade in Brazil are great examples of its span. My thesis selects an aspect of current
socially engaged practice that argues for a particular conceptual strength and socio-political agency. I assert the idea that small strategic gestures are of far
greater critical significance than grand reactionary actions. I also focus on the idea that empowerment and emancipation can only come from an
engagement with the structures of power already at play — and the social, political and economic conditions that these have produced.
My approach foregrounds the construction of the aforementioned toolkit aiming to contribute to the widening of a field of inquiry, born of already existing practices. These practices produce encounters with others
and suggest ways of discovering agency in everyday life and experience in ways that are potentially collective and social in orientation.
The artists of interest to my research forge modes of production open to experimentation, and offer critical expressions of being and relating to others.
This toolkit, its terms of use and the artworks I create in relation to it, aims to reflect and animate the development of this field of practice. Throughout this
thesis I ask: how individuals become socially engaged, and how the strategies employed by these individuals inform the construction of tools of everyday
emancipation? I address these questions through the creation of exploratory artworks, the developement of a toolkit of terms and an exposition of practices that pervade this field of production.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Funders: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 13:59
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 13:59
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2841

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