Latest Research News on contemporary art : July – 2020

Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation

Funded by Arts Council England and AHRC. Doherty is editor of this collection and wrote the introductory chapter. The book describes and analyses the shift from studio-based to situated art practices. Unlike the exhibition catalogue or monograph which promotes a particular artist or a curatorial thesis, the book gives insights into the range of strategies artists and curators have used to approach given contexts. Ranging from relational aesthetics to the concerns of site-specificity, it examines the value of context in the commissioning and production of temporary art works, drawing upon case studies and commissioned essays. [1]

Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art

Whether it involves remaking an old Hollywood movie, projecting a quiet 16mm film, or constructing a bombastic multi-screen environment, cinema now takes place not just in the movie theatre and the home, but also in the art gallery and the museum. The author of this engaging study takes stock of this development, offering an in-depth inquiry into its genesis, its defining features, and the ramifications it has for art and cinema alike. Through the lens of contemporary art history, she examines cinema studies’ great disciplinary obsession – namely, what cinema was, is, and will become in a digital future. [2]

Of Diagrams and Rhizomes: Visual Culture, Contemporary Art, and the Impossibility of Mapping the Content of Art Education

What are the boundaries of art education? Discipline-Based Art Education expanded the content of art education, and now, proposals to move art education toward visual culture promise to further complicate our field. The difficulty encountered in attempting to add the content of emerging contemporary artworks and popular visual culture to a map of an education provides an analogy for the problems faced by proponents of visual cultural-based curricula. In this article, the dojinshi phenomenon, pertaining to the fanzine-like comic books that Japanese teenagers create, is used to illustrate the futility of diagramming within art education content which is rhizomatic—more like the tangle of a patch of grass than the orderly structure of a tree. Three strategies are presented for dealing with contemporary art and rhizomatic popular visual culture within art education curricula: (1) opting for the status quo which precludes the addition of contemporary art and popular visual culture, (2) supplementing existing curricula, and (3) fully submitting to the new and popular. One tactic is also presented—that of moving pedagogy to a space situated between conventional artworld-based school curricular content and content from contemporary art and popular visual culture. This tactic is proposed as a means for teachers and students to collaboratively embrace dynamic changes and expansions of content in a site alongside traditional art education. [3]

The Youth and Contemporary Art in Ghana

This study looked at Ghanaian youth and contemporary art vis a vis perception and challenges involved in contemporary art practices in Ghana. The current practice of contemporary art by Ghanaian youth has come under scrutiny, with many questioning the place of art in their practice and exhibitions. Using a triangulation of interviews, observation and survey, the study revealed that Ghanaian youth are actively embracing contemporary art and have developed an interest in exhibitions despite challenges of accepting the expanded media, processes and forms it could take. Despite the misunderstanding of what contemporary art should be and what should not, contemporary art is gradually gaining grounds and recognition in Ghana and placing the Ghanaian art on the international art scene. Although the youth have no privileged routes and a weak infrastructure for art making, recent teachings, coupled with a passion to train independent artists, commitment and collaborative efforts by the youth have made recent exhibitions trailblazers on the continent. Through more experimental projects, critique sessions and exhibitions, the Gown would surely get to Town. The passion for more experimental approaches to art making and exhibition signal greater and emancipated future for art in Ghana. [4]


[1] Doherty, C., Buren, D., Bourriaud, N. and Domela, P., 2004. Contemporary art: From studio to situation.

[2] Balsom, E., 2013. Exhibiting cinema in contemporary art (p. 260). Amsterdam University Press.

[3] Wilson, B., 2003. Of diagrams and rhizomes: Visual culture, contemporary art, and the impossibility of mapping the content of art education. Studies in Art Education, 44(3), pp.214-229.

[4] Nortey, S., K. Bodjawah, E. and Ampratwum, G. (2018) “The Youth and Contemporary Art in Ghana”, Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 7(1), pp. 1-13. doi: 10.9734/ARJASS/2018/42995.

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