Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maria Lind

Maria Lind introduces social practice in "Returning on Bikes: Notes on Social Practice". The idea of social practice has much less to do with the visual content or technique of found in art, but rather its effects on the audience and how the artwork contributes to society. This practice is hard for me to comprehend as a legitimate form of art, but that is a significant driving point of Lind's explanation.

Social practice is exceedingly focused on "the minors", or artists on the fringe, who aren't quite consumed by gallery politics and modern standards as those deemed professionals or “majors”. Lind expresses that there are more original ideas cultivated from those working outside of this art gallery bubble and social practice is a means of critiquing those stringent institutions. While many works borrow from traditional art (including the “desire and need to work long term”), social practices range from politically motivated websites like (a faux official website that satirizes smuggling and the “theatricalization of activism”) to an organized, reverse bicycle ride in Germany. These works serve to push the idea of social acceptance, alter perspectives, and even raise awareness on issues—the purpose of each piece tends to supersede its corresponding work of art, if any; this idea explains why the movement is called social practice and not social artwork.

Lind's goal is to expand upon classical forms of art and social practice is meant to be "simultaneously a medium, a method, and a genre". Works of this enigmatic category are not bound by various rules or techniques, but rather celebrate autonomy and the unknown limits of art itself. Social practice is more of an intention behind works of art (whether tactile, temporary, visual, participatory, etc.) that serves to challenge the classical stereotypes found in art circles, politics, and society.

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