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Rehearsals, Reproduction and the Art of Living: Historicising Social Practice in the United States

Abse Gogarty, LK; (2015) Rehearsals, Reproduction and the Art of Living: Historicising Social Practice in the United States. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis aims to historicise and theorise art works that are community based, collectively produced and politically critical. I seek to challenge the de-historicised character of the recent discourse on what has been variously labelled socially engaged art, dialogical art, or participatory art through a comparative methodology that analyses such practices dating to the 1930s and the 1990s in the U.S.A. The rationale for considering the 1930s and 1990s together arises from continuities in the artworks I discuss and as a path towards an alternative history. However, I also engage these two periods as a way of testing the relationship between the flourishing of such practices, processes of state formation in the USA, and social change. Marxism, feminism, and theories of racialisation inform my approach. Through this, I seek to explore how the ‘subject-participant’ at the forefront of socialised art practice has shifted between these two periods, what this can tell us about the relationship between capital and labour, and how the works under discussion mediate processes of domination and exploitation. By analysing a range of practices that include experimental theatre, performance, dance and photography, my intention is to connect the conditions that underpinned and propelled these works with the relationships they are able to engender through their production and circulation. This is necessarily approached as an interdisciplinary problem, and underpins my emphasis on making connections over a longer period, in order to provide a more complex history of the present.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Rehearsals, Reproduction and the Art of Living: Historicising Social Practice in the United States
Event: UCL
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470879
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