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Community, Conflict, Difference: New Genre Public Art in Winnipeg

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Community, Conflict, Difference: New Genre Public Art in Winnipeg

Brynjolson, Noni (2012) Community, Conflict, Difference: New Genre Public Art in Winnipeg. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Since the late 1990s, the Crossing Communities Art Project in Winnipeg, Canada has created community-based art centred around collaboration and activism. The project began with exchanges of artwork between women in prison in Manitoba and women artists in Winnipeg. It developed into an organization where women in conflict with the law collaborated on artwork in a wide range of media, including photography, video, performances and urban interventions. This thesis investigates Crossing Communities as a form of new genre public art, and places it in context with other socially engaged art practices that emerged in the 1990s. Like many new genre public art projects, Crossing Communities grew out of feminist activism, community organizing, and a concern with site-specificity. It also exemplifies certain problematic aspects of new genre public art, including the formation of hierarchies between artists and non-artists, and the complicated negotiations that revolve around individual and collective authorship. These issues are examined in depth in this thesis, and are illuminated by interviews with participants, comparisons with other artwork, and a review of relevant literature. Social engagement has become a common theme in contemporary art, with relational aesthetics gaining particular prominence during the past decade. Much of this work hints at the possibility of social change, but remains tied to the notion of art as a sphere separate from society. In contrast, Crossing Communities stretches the boundaries between art and activism and opens up new ways of thinking about community, conflict and difference in Winnipeg’s public spaces.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Brynjolson, Noni
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:15 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammond, Cynthia
ID Code:974784
Deposited By:NONI BRYNJOLSON
Deposited On:25 Oct 2012 12:09
Last Modified:25 Oct 2012 12:09
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