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Title: If we make it, we can change it
Author: Guarino-Huet, Marianne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6299
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2019
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For the art critic Claire Bishop 'collectivity and collaboration have been some of the most persistent themes of advanced art and exhibition-making of the last decade' (2012, p.12). I will bring with this thesis a new contribution to this discourse by reflecting on the specificity and potential of the notion of 'common' through the production of art with non-artists. This practice-led research is based on the practice of microsillons, the artists collective I founded with Olivier Desvoignes in 2005. The experiential dimension of the practice is entangled with an investigation that integrates recent approaches to the concept of 'common' by theorists and cultural workers as a framework to reflect, critique, resist and overcome the effects of the neo-liberal transformation of all spheres of human activity. I will describe the common as an 'already-there' (Hardt and Negri, 2009) but also as a 'to come' (Dardot and Laval, 2015a) and, furthermore, as a critical tool. These theoretical underpinnings form the conceptual background for the different experimentations developed by microsillons with common modes of thinking, organizing and producing. I will analyse the way microsillons developed its art practice in common with non-artists. Each of these analyses articulates a series of dual central concepts, namely: authorship/common production, banking education/commonly generated knowledge and cultural participation/agonistic mediation, terminology that I will outline in the body of the thesis. Together with these case studies from microsillons' practice, I discuss contemporary examples of comparable practices developed by artists such as Copenhagen Free University, Ultra-Red or Suzanne Lacy. In this way, I explore how Olivier and I have been able to build, with people outside the worlds of contemporary art, unique and complex experiences, condensed in common forms. The geographical anchoring of this practice in Geneva, a French-speaking city in Switzerland, brings a specific testimony. The text describes how the activity of common, acknowledging the importance of divergences or conflicts, can challenge forms of exclusion or oppression, which I will discuss as being more prevalent, yet also more hidden, due to the fact that this city is one of the world capitals of finance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fine Art