Practicing the Past: Socially Engaged Remembering in Contemporary Art Restricted; Files Only

Orr, Ronald Joseph (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/4b29b6695?locale=en
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Abstract

This dissertation investigates the proliferation of memorial practices such as reenactment and re-performance within the emergent field of socially engaged art. The project is broadly interdisciplinary, located at the intersections of contemporary art, memory studies, and psychoanalytic theories of affect. Specifically, texts and practices being used to establish the field of social engagement in contemporary art are read as memory effects, positing a present interpretation based on the recollection of particular pasts. Since theories of collective memory take embodied performance and transmission into account, they are read together with relational artistic memorial practices. Finally, psychoanalytic theories on interaffectivity are explored in relation to both early modern avant-garde art precedents and contemporary social practice as ways to both traffic affect and explore the utility of the cultural sphere in negotiating internal and external realities. On a methodological level, this project explores the potential of artistic or practice-led research to expand more traditional critical approaches. In particular, the study of socially engaged memorials is not only historically and theoretically based, but also includes the production of such artistic forms as a mode of inquiry.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….........................1

Chapter 1 Eliminating Audiences and Dematerializing Objects:

Socially Engaged Art as a Memory Effect………………………............………………………10

Chapter 2 Sites of Collective Memory:

Materials, Places, and Publics………………………………................……………………………40

Chapter 3 Weak Art:

Theories of Affect and the Field of Culture………….........…………………………………...70

Chapter 4 Memory Flash:

Memorials and Research in Everyday Spaces…........……………………………………….106

Chapter 5 The Campaign for Atlanta:

Research and Socially Engaged Art in Institutional Space…………………………......188

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