Author ORCID Identifier
Master of Fine Arts
Pamela Taylor Turner
RELATIONAL AESTHETICS: CREATIVITY IN THE INTER-HUMAN SPHERE
By Carl Patow, MD, MPH, MBA
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Fine Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019.
Major Director: Pamela Taylor Turner, Associate Professor, Kinetic Imaging, VCU Arts
Relational Art was first described as an art movement in Nicolas Bourriaud’s catalogue for the exhibition Traffic in 1995, and in an eponymous book in 1998. He observed that contemporary artists were shifting the focus of their work away from creating objects of spectacle to interaction with viewers through dialogue. Examination of a sample of representative artists’ work demonstrates a wide variety of applications that variously include objects. Inclusion of objects in relational artwork raises important theoretic considerations about the definition of the genre and its application to specific artworks.
In the thesis artwork, WORKS WHEN, Carl Patow engages individuals in Richmond, Virginia, in conversations, documenting the location of their neighborhood and recording observations they make about their neighborhoods on polychrome tiles. The collected tiles are formed into “communities” on a floor map of the city. The work includes both conversation and objects in its creation, realization and exhibition. In doing so, WORKS WHEN is both an example of Relational Aesthetics and an expansion of its scope as a genre.
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VCU Theses and Dissertations
Date of Submission