• Is this what brings things into focus?

Tatham, Joanne and O'Sullivan, Tom, 2017, Show, Exhibition or Event, Is this what brings things into focus?

Abstract or Description:

“Is this what brings things into focus?” work was one of four newly commissioned artworks for the 2017 Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival, one of the largest annual music festivals in the world. The commissioned artworks were presented alongside a programme of internationally recognised musicians, with audiences of 100,000 each day over two 3 day weekends. The artwork received extensive press coverage in the NY Times, the Architects’ Newspaper, LA Weekly and the LA Times.

“Is this what brings things into focus?” exists within Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan’s ongoing enquiry into the functions that contemporary art is invited to perform, which in this instance were determined by a large commercial entertainment corporation. The brief, which was both implicit and explicit, was to enhance the spectacle of a large scale music festival, both on site at the Coachella festival, and “off-site” as photogenic material for intensive circulation on social media. The scale, design and visual appearance of the artwork was key to fulfilling these expectations. The artwork presented five constructions, the largest 21metres high, and adopted a brightly patterned cartoon animal motif, as a performance of dumb, absurd complicity.

“Is this what brings things into focus?” was the result of a process of negotiation and complicity, that in turn enabled access to a field of activity that offered a rich site of engagement for enquiry. In addition, the manoeuvres required to enable such access must also be understood as a dialectical encounter through which the artwork performs its critical agency.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2017California, USA14-24 April 2017Other event
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Copyright Holders: Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan
Funders: Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 10:48
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 15:27
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2837
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