Place or Space

August 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

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We are slowly working on filling up our art library’s reference room with themed shelves for our students and faculty to browse. So far we have shelves dedicated to National Hispanic Heritage Month, art and math, books featured on our blog this year, a shelf for coloring books, and more.

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Place or Space, a book edited by Markku Hakuri, “tells the story of places, spaces and situations that the writers encountered when reflecting on the potential of art as a provider of social commentary, and as a shaper or a challenger of the visual appearance of our environment.” I picked this one off the shelf in the stacks while gathering books for another themed shelf that will have books related, even if tangentially, to environmental/eco-art.

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In the book, Polly Barto, who wrote an essay for it titled “Participatory Art and Its Space,” makes an interesting observance that contemporary installations are more often “taking place outside the restricted environments of art museums” (129). She goes on to discuss museums, galleries, and their levels of accessibility. An interesting discussion that can lead to questions of the exclusivity of art, the nature of audience in nature, museums, and gallery spaces, the accessibility of those spaces for different audiences, and further questions about nature and our participatory interactions with it (what does this mean for audience reactions to and participation with art that is outside?).

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