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  • Innovation, Appropriation, Acculturation

Oakley, Peter, 2019, Conference or Workshop, Innovation, Appropriation, Acculturation at International Awards for Art Criticism 6, Shanghai, 24 May 2019.

Abstract or Description:

Artists use their inspirations to explain their physical output, but these ‘narratives of creativity’ are never neutral. They are frequently used by artists or their promoters to claim or validate the artist’s status by associating both the work and its maker with high-profile predecessors or contemporaries, from their locality or elsewhere. Conversely, other, sometimes more genuine inspirations remain hidden, as these are thought to be too out-dated, too unsophisticated or too prosaic to describe to art-loving audiences. So who chooses which stories are being told and which are to remain unspoken?
One of the most difficult aspects of inspiration is appropriation. When does the sincere appreciation of, and wish to emulate, the qualities of existing art objects from other cultures become just simple copying the output of others from far away or even copying from your neighbours? Equally, is it ever possible to be truly individual? Is it not the case that all artistic practitioners have to live in an ‘iron cage of creativity’ in order to have their work understood and appreciated by other people? Does this not mean we all have to take elements from the work of other creators whenever we produce something we choose to call new?
Makers from every discipline have faced the same dilemma for hundreds of years, but we live in an increasingly globalised and digital world, where masses of images and artifacts circulate across and between continents with amazing velocity. In such a world, is anything really outside anybody’s cultural experience any more? Do the people who make artworks even need to learn a local cultural aesthetic - to become acculturated – in order to have their work appreciated by the society that cultivated that aesthetic? Are creative individuals the true global citizens whose material output speaks equally to everybody, no matter where they live or what they believe? Or should we be more sceptical about the notion of global interconnectedness that underpins ideas such as ‘the global village’ and acknowledge there are fundamental differences between major world cultures that still need to be negotiated?

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W750 Clay and Stone Crafts
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W770 Glass Crafts
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: AHRC
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 10:12
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4010

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