How does one develop their identity in a world that is constantly changing around them? On what do we ground ourselves? This question essentially catalyzed my Watson project.
Over one year, I explored artist identity within two contexts: the global and the local. Considering art as a communicative medium, can it transcend ‘place’ as conventionally understood? Not just geographically, I explored ‘place(s)’ through history, tradition, culture, and politics.
I selected a range of small-scale artists and collectives in South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong and Japan and large-scale, high profile, international art venues including The Venice Biennale, Bienal de São Paulo and documenta 14 (Athens). In conversation with artists and collectives whose work engage with the ephemeral, who create spaces of encounter, and foster collaboration, I explored the visual practices and theoretical underpinnings of how these contemporary artists consider their locatedness in a globalized contemporary.
With an expanding contemporary art world eager to widen notions of multiculturalism, my project was twofold: to question how artists who adopt a global identity are creatively influenced by a multitude of places, and to inquire why artists choose to practice in one location. Replacing the language of nationality, I used the language of locality to focus on artist’s real life experiences of culture and tradition. While global art venues, such as biennials, aim to create a diverse platform promoting worldwide participation and equality, individual artists must navigate their place and formulate their identity as distinct or in conversation with both their locational identity and the all-encompassing art world.
With place as my focus: What role does it play in an artist’s identity in today’s globalized contemporary?
August - October: Sao Paulo, BrazilNovember, December: Auckland, New ZealandJanuary, February: Sydney & Melbourne, AustraliaMarch - May: Athens, Greece; Liverpool & London, UK; & Venice, ItalyJune: Seoul, South Korea; Hong KongJuly: Tokyo & Hokkaido, Japan