Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Shadow boxing : governmentality, performativity & critique in contemporary art practice
Author: Nimarkoh, Virginia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3447 1917
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Via Foucault's notion of governmentality, the thesis examines the impact of privatisation on contemporary art practice and considers the implications for critique under such conditions. I take up Brian Wallis' link between governmentality and the use of government subsidy and regulation as means of social control. I consider the effects of bureaucratisation on publicly funded art in America during the Reagan/Bush era, and the implications for `alternative' practice as a mode of dissent. Via Foucault's notion of critique as inherently paradoxical, dependent on power and reflexive, I examine Miwon Kwon's observation of the politically motivated artist's complicity within art world power relations. Using the 1993 Whitney Biennial as a case study, I discuss how the reformist strategies of alternative practice conflict with notions of autonomy, resistance and dissent. In response to this situation, I discuss contemporary artist David Hammons; specifically, aspects of his practice that confuse the relation between the work, its documentation and dissemination. Hammons' practice relates to Hal Foster's proposal for reflexivity within critique, which I link to Judith Butler's notion of `the performative'. Does Hammons' modus operandi circumvent the pitfalls that Kwon outlines? In my art practice, I use photography, curating, publishing and writing as modes of production. A major concern has been the tenability of the artwork as a social document. I also explore the relation between high and low culture; as such, aspects of the `everyday' often feature within my practice. Current work examines the idea of urban municipal park as a type of utopia. To me, such parks are socially diverse - in terms of class, race, gender, age, physical ability, etc. Equally, the park is one of the few urban spaces where it is socially acceptable to stop, and do nothing. I propose the municipal park as an antidote to the frenetic, consumer-led city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral