'Close' as a construct to critically investigate the relationship between the visual artist and the everyday
This research proposes and develops a critical framework - a 'matrix' to make sense of the artistic process from the practitioner's perspective. It draws from the research of de Certeau into everyday culture and the art historical discourse of Bourriaud that positions art within models of social interaction. As a critical concept the everyday has benefits for re-thinking the nature of creative activity and its reception. The term participatory relational practice is used \ 11 this thesis to define an approach that situates the artist within the everyday. The matrix is constructed reflexively through three of my art projects and by analysing two artists engaged by the On the Edge research programme to conduct two projects. Used reflectively in and on practice the matrix sensitizes the artist to judgements, values and qualities within a dynamic process of exchange and transaction. The matrix represents a core from which judgements about practice are considered and negotiated. It comprises three inter-dependent dimensions, which the artist selfconsciously models. The aesthetic may be defined as the intricacies of giving form to experience, the ethical as enabling individuals to share a freedom to think, speak or act differently, and the polemical as forming, expressing and enacting a view or position. The research proposes that a nuanced critique may be defined as the interplay between the aesthetic, the playful and resistance. It responds to the need identified in the discourse to develop a multidimensional understanding of practice. The matrix is a way of considering and representing the aesthetic as part of an interdependent whole - a system of values. The research addresses artists and critical theorists interested in collaboration and multi-disciplinary work. The matrix is both interpretive and generative. It can be used to structure and evaluate projects. It has implications for pedagogy in terms of better equipping younger artists with the skills necessary for operating within the everyday as the multi-layered fields of civic society.