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Rumour, Legend, Tradition, Fact: A critical project report

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Over the last few years ‘community’, ‘participation’ and ‘heritage’ have become key words in creative commissioning. These terms are generally invoked with an abundancy of good intentions, but little critical reflection. In this article the author uses a commission of hers as an example to unpick some of the unquestioned assumptions and interests that tend to underpin these projects. The manifold determinants, including bureaucratic, legislative, financial, political and art-historical factors, to these types of commissions are conceptualized as a ‘forcefield’, an area of contradictory values, aims and objectives that the author has to navigate. The article combines critical analysis, project report and personal reflection. It describes the author’s efforts to arrive at a satisfactory subject position and project outcome in relation to the conceptual complexities she encounters.
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Keywords: community; criticality; heritage; participation; public art; self-reflection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Publication date: 01 December 2015

More about this publication?
  • Illustration is a rapidly evolving field with an excitingly broad scope. Despite its cultural significance and rich history, illustration has rarely been subject to deep academic scrutiny. The Journal of Illustration provides an international forum for scholarly research and investigation of a range of cultural, political, philosophical, historical, and contemporary issues, in relation to illustration. The journal encourages new critical writing on illustration, associated visual communication, and the role of the illustrator as visualizer, thinker, and facilitator, within a wide variety of disciplines and professional contexts.

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