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Publication Detail
From the Groung Up: (A) Social Building
Abstract
Kieren Reed is interested in functionality, the concepts of collaboration and the possibilities of de-authoring an artwork. Commissioned by the Whitstable Biennale 2014, From the Ground up, (A) Social Building, is part of an ongoing investigation into participatory art practices, exploring the legitimacy of sharing practice and the possibilities of creating innovative learning environments within the act of building a public space. Reed is interested in how possible it can be to ensure involved participants are not part of the subject of the work, but rather that they have self-agency. Working to create architectural sculptures though group workshops and collectively designing and investigating possibilities of creating spaces, Reed invents and explores function. For (A) Social Building, he invited input from students at UCA Canterbury and Collaborative Research Group. The piece continues Reed's critique of craftsmanship, work and labour, through shared ideals and the situation of participation. (A) Social Building needs to be considered in terms of all the situations in which it is sited. Reed is concerned with the possibility of the moment when a (his) sculpture gets consumed by the landscape and almost becomes unnoticeable. This challenge extends into his wider practice, where he is interested in the object, materiality, and the process and method of making and manufacturing. Some of his works, like (A) Social Building or Liminal 2012, explore the point when a thing stops being an object because of its scale, possibility of touch or its function outside of the context of the art object. Reed's practice is rooted in the negotiation of who uses the space or the artwork, and how it's used, as well as what is appropriate and what is not. In trying to de-author the artist, he looks to create opportunities for the other, handing over the sculpture for functional use and forgoing exclusive agency of the artwork. From the Ground up, (A) Social Building will move to National Trust property, The Red House, in South East London in Summer 2014, where appropriately it will frame William Morris' earlier ideas of collaborative working.
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