Research, Art and Community image

Immersive community-based contemporary art practice has always been fraught with ethical and philosophical dilemmas, not least when multiple partners wish to co-produce and curate. We warmly invite you to join us in our upcoming CPRN at St. Fagans, where we will explore questions of the integrity of research, community participation and art. This special CPRN is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, in collaboration with ArtStation and the National Museum of Wales.

The Anchor Peoples installation was realised through the combined efforts of an Artist, a Curator, an Academic and a Community Activist, working in conjunction with two leading community anchor organisations in South Wales. In the process of developing the artwork, each of the four parties have sought to instil their own respective sets of values and operational probity, which at times has led to creative tensions and heated discussion about, for example, purpose, process, authorship, ownership and ultimately, integrity.

We will start with an exposition of how the installation, (which you will have the opportunity to view on the day), brought these issues into light, and explore how these resonate with CPRN members’ own experiences. This will provide critical backdrop to a final session on the role and status of such objects in a setting such as St Fagan’s National Museum of History, in their dual role as artwork and social phenomena.

We invite you to join us as we discuss the critical factors that impact on the veracity of art in research; the role of instrumentalism and the implications for art production values; ‘quality’ considerations; and the provenance of the art produced when committed to a community participation model. We also invite the CPRN to consider how artworks of this nature may fit within the canon of museum collections and archives. When the artistic integrity and conceptual meaning of the work lies so firmly in community development and social agency, are mainstream contemporary art and museum acquisition models and practices able to accommodate and appreciate this intangible value within current aesthetic metrics?

Lunch will be provided afterwards.

*Artwork reproduced here with permission from ArtStation