School of Culture and Communication - Theses
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ItemNo Preview AvailableGuests, Hosts, Ghosts: Art Residencies and Cross-Cultural ExchangeLa Rosa, Miriam ( 2022)This thesis investigates art residencies as sites of hospitality. It analyses two cross-cultural residency projects I developed: a residency organised on standard lines, involving art travel, and a hybrid residency, involving virtual and in-person elements. My discussions reflect on the conditions of art residencies before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining the distinction between visitation and invitation, the ethics of working in a place that is not 'your own home,' and the potential of the gift exchange to challenge fixed binary roles such as host/guest, insider/outsider, giver/receiver. The thesis proposes a new understanding of the changing relationships between art residencies and artists through the curatorial implications of the act of showing and of hospitality.
ItemThe Historical Formation of Chinese Contemporary Art and the Socialist LegacyLu, Yinghua ( 2020)The subject of this thesis is the period in China from the 1950s to the 1990s, during which “contemporary art” (dangdai yishu) gradually emerged. This is part of a complicated historical narrative centered on the state. Existing understandings of this tumultuous period have been complicated by the fact that modern and contemporary Chinese art history has largely been written by critics—active protagonists—who have naturally promoted particular accounts. The thesis proceeds through an analysis of key debates and initiatives by artists, art critics and art historians inside China, drawing on primary research and interviews. The contention of this thesis is that contemporary art is not only an integral part of the culture that developed under the auspices of the state, but that Chinese contemporary art itself completely embodies the complexity and paradoxes of state culture.
ItemGlobal positioning: international auctions and the development of the Western market for Chinese Contemporary art, 1998-2012Archer, Anita Sarah ( 2018)This thesis examines the role of international auction houses in developing a Western market for Chinese Contemporary art from 1998 to 2012. It highlights six art auction events as pivotal for the transmission of cultural and economic value from local contexts to global acceptance. This thesis underscores the agency of collectors, networked art mediators and auctions to influence market expansion in the West, thereby revealing auctions as creators and consecrators of symbolic and economic value of Chinese Contemporary art.
ItemJanet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: spatial environments and experiments in soundTrajkoski, Aneta ( 2018)This thesis is the first scholarly monograph that comprehensively examines the work of contemporary Canadian artists Janet Cardiff (b. 1957) and George Bures Miller (b. 1960). It provides a detailed account of their sound and media installations, audio walks, and video walks between the late 1980s and 2014. This thesis asks: how may Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s artworks be investigated and understood as sound installations? The significant focus of my research is Cardiff and Miller’s emphasis on recorded sound, media, and experimentation that has defined their works since the late 1980s. I emphasize that sound design (the mixing, layering, and editing of sound) was pivotal to Cardiff and Miller creating their self-described “spatial environments.” These methods and technologies enabled Cardiff and Miller to confront and redefine existing trajectories of sound, video, and installation art within contemporary art. This in-depth study of Cardiff and Miller’s artwork contributes to the discursive category of sound and video installation. The wider contribution of this thesis to the field is to develop and explain how sound is exhibited and encountered as contemporary art.
ItemThis thing is intricate and it's everywhere: the art of Michael Stevenson as a model of historical timeParlane, Anna ( 2018)This thesis is the first detailed, scholarly analysis of the practice of the Berlin-based New Zealand artist Michael Stevenson (b. 1964). It examines the substantial body of work extending from Stevenson’s paintings of the late 1980s to the research-based installation projects he produced in 2012. The research has been motivated by two questions: What is it that ties this artist’s practice together? And what is its particular contemporary relevance? An eschatological model of historical time built from the unlikely combination of fundamentalist Christianity and postmodern theory underpins all of Stevenson’s work. This model constitutes an important contribution to current thinking about time and history. Stevenson’s works are at odds with both the linear time of modernity, and also the pluralist and horizonless “presentism” of contemporaneity. This thesis stems from a recognition of the central importance of Stevenson’s early religious experiences to his later art practice. The significance of his religious paintings of the late 1980s has never previously been acknowledged. The cataclysmic collision of postmodernity and Pentecostalism in Stevenson’s life and thinking during the 1980s, however, was formative. Following his departure from religious faith, Stevenson’s art practice has been a multi-decade project to reconstruct a shattered world-view, and also a deep engagement with the historical conditions of our time. Repeatedly circling the intellectual problems he encountered in and around the late 1980s—problems thrown into relief by the coincidence of postmodernism, the end of the Cold War, and his departure from the Church—Stevenson has developed a model of historical time that draws from both postmodern scepticism and religious faith.