The Interplay between Art and Ethnography Essay

The Interplay between Art and Ethnography


This thesis looks at the work of Nikki S Lee ; Lan Tuazon ; Steven Willat ; and Renee Green. In these illustrations we see how modern-day art can utilize ethnographic methodological analysis, specifically qualitative research methods, to show a creative undertaking which explores the workings of civilization.

A review of specific plants by the creative persons aims to research the interaction between the two subjects of societal scientific disciplines and the humanistic disciplines and to place the presence and expandability of the boundaries between the two. It is established that modern-day art is still populating within, and sometimes upholding, the 18Thursdaycentury ideal of the creative person as the individual visionary who is maestro over the presentation of his thoughts. In an effort to fade out the limitations posed by the passive-observer syndrome, creative persons are seeking ways in which to include their audience while doing exploratory statements on the maps and kineticss of different civilizations. Furthermore, the sum of information available to research workers means that in a typical exhibition an audience will be presented with a phenomenal sum of informations, and it is through the inventiveness of the show that this information is communicated to them.



Chapter 1: Art and Ethnography. The relationship so far and the issues today

Chapter 2: Nikki S. Lee

Chapter 3 Lan Tuazon and Steven Willats

Chapter 4 Renee Green



The scientific disciplines trade with abstraction, truth, the actual and the quantitative. The humanistic disciplines trade with the concrete, the persuasive, the metaphorical and the qualitative. The chase of truth belongs to science, the chase of the good to morality and the creative activity of the beautiful to the humanistic disciplines.[ 1 ]

This is how many bookmans have distinguished between the two subjects which have been presented by major establishments, until recent old ages, to be poles apart. However, in a western society dependant on communications, on an international degree, with a civilization that is inherently exploratory, the boundaries between the humanistic disciplines and scientific disciplines have, in topographic points and in pattern, go blurred.

To get down this survey it is necessary to place the features of descriptive anthropology which distinguish it from its original field of anthropology. Ethnographic survey developed from anthropology utilizing less rigorous methods of appraisal with an accent on the participant‘s positions. The scenes used tend to be natural or mundane, as opposed to the contrive apparatus of a research lab, with observation and informal conversation being the chief beginning of informations. [ 2 ] Ethnographic survey in art can affect utilizing scientific methods of research – specifically qualitative methodological analysis – and showing it through media. This allows the internal workings and maps of civilization to be exposed in a manner that simple aesthetics can non accomplish. As Hal Foster stated in his essay, ‘The Artist as Ethnographer, ’ descriptive anthropology has become a dominantmethodologicaltheoretical account in the academy and elsewhere in the past decennaries, impacting the development of new historicism, cultural surveies, and ‘quasi-anthropological’ art projects.’ [ 3 ] Artist’s whose work parallel to this concern include Renee green, Nikki S. Lee, Fred Wilson, and Steven Willats, who take up ethnography as an object of question. Furthermore, within this underdeveloped field Miwon Kwon argues that in more general footings there has been a tendency of creative persons turn toing the authorization of writing, ‘especially their own.’ [ 4 ]

The societal scientific discipline of analyzing groups of people is now being integrated into artistic undertakings – frequently affecting the perceiver going a participant themselves. However, this new coaction raises issues refering the authorization of writing. As Luke Lassiter remarks in a paper on collaborative and mutual descriptive anthropology, the recording of stuff makes, what James Clifford names a ‘hierarchical agreement of discourse’ James Clifford ( 1986:17 ) : 1 that is doubtless shaped by the words chosen ; the couching of reading ; and ’how we assemble our audience.’ [ 5 ] In the instance of some of the most successful modern-day creative persons, such as Renne Green and Nikki S. Lee, Art addresses and efforts to get the better of these kind of jobs, which are associated with analyzing societal groups. The conducting and recording of research is converted into the actual experience of the creative person or the witness themselves and is presented through snippings of photographic or movie stuff, or through the apparently abstract presentation of objects or digitalised worlds. However, the job of writing still remains: why should we believe what the creative person nowadayss as existent to be existent? And what grade of credibleness can such exhibitions be credited with if the experience of the witness remains basically inactive? Yet this is possibly what lies at the bosom of ethnographic art undertakings – the thought that existent can merely be achieved through experience, and non by looking on or by reading ; that to understand one first has to be within what the creative person has created.

It is this country of the complex relationship between descriptive anthropology and art that this paper will look into, taking to see if there is a divide or whether the boundaries of one fuzz with the other.

Chapter One. Art and Ethnography. The relationship so far and the issues today

It is merely because of the last 70 or 80 old ages of anthropological and ethnographic survey that modern-day art undertakings can integrate ethnographic understanding into their work. The developing relationship between perceiver and topic has changed to go a participatory experience on the portion of the creative person or ethnographer within that which they study. Surveies of foreign cultural groups by Westerners have had to re-centre their focal point during the last 50 old ages, and recognise, as James Clifford phrases it, that ‘the West can no longer present itself as the alone purveyor of anthropological cognition about others.’ [ 6 ] Thus, ethnographers and creative persons likewise have come to recognize ‘a universe of generalized ethnography.’ [ 7 ] This displacement caused a liberalising of ethnographic art during the 1960ss and 1970ss, where public presentation and video art explored the relationship between the creative person and capable, deconstructing the absolute definitions of what was descriptive anthropology and what was art. The usage of marks and markers – a subject explored subsequently in this undertaking by Nikki S. Lee – was a tendency relevant to this survey, and is good illustrated by the work of Vito Acconci in hisHallmarks, 1970. [ 8 ]

At the terminal of the 1970ss self-portraiture picture taking, such as that by Cindy Sherman, began to bring forth iconic representations of the ego set amidst a dynamic genre of experience. As James Clifford says, the ethnographic temperament during this epoch allowed the ‘luxury to research one’s ain coming apart, to work with fragments.’ [ 9 ] During the 1880ss, the work of James Clifford precipitated a turning involvement with descriptive anthropology in art pattern and unfavorable judgment. This is evidenced in the work of Hal Foster, and in the modern-day art of Renee Green and Lan Tuazon, all of whom will be considered during the class of this thesis.

However, it is argued that despite attempts of 1970ss conceptualization to alter the power dealingss between creative person and witness the ‘inequality still exists.’ [ 10 ] By comparing, an of import tendency in descriptive anthropology over the last decennary has been described by Miwon Kwon as a ‘concern for a self-reflexive pattern, wherein the located and motivated place of the ethnographer him/herself is highlighted as an built-in portion of the production of knowledge.’ [ 11 ] While art has for some clip been antagonizing the 18Thursdaycentury political orientation of the creative person as an stray airy making Windowss through which others gain insight, it has been the occupation of ethnographers to incorporate themselves with the topics who they study. As the paper by Luke Lassiter reminds us, the anthropological displacement has taken research workers from ‘reading over the shoulders of natives’ to ‘reading aboard natives.’ [ 12 ] Likewise, modern-day art undertakings, such as work by Tuazon and Lee, are concerned with acquiring inside the work, going portion of something else. Yet this work is non needfully detrimental to the ‘I’ ; that is to state that the creative person is non preoccupied with burying the ego, but instead accommodating it so the art represents the ego in the form and signifier of something or person else.

James Clifford’s work is particularly affecting to the topic of this thesis as he altered the boundaries of what constituted fieldwork, and the relationship between participant and perceiver. In an interview with Alex Coles, Clifford was asked if he believed the methodological analysiss of descriptive anthropology to be boundlessly expandible, he replied depicting the statements environing the dynamic tendencies in descriptive anthropology and its interrelatedness with art as a ‘complex, ongoing review and decentring of cultural representations and dealingss of power.’ [ 13 ]

Therefore, ethnographic survey and art have both been turn toing the jobs of writing and witness passiveness, with ethnographic art undertakings seeking to affect the witness. Exhibitions now involve digital engineering and computerised programmes which allow the spectator a grade of influence. However, the interaction is frequently undermined by the authorization of the creative person who retains overall control of the engineering. [ 14 ] Thus, the evident liberty given to the witness is false, being a merchandise of digital engineering ‘s ability to offer varying, but controlled paths through the stuff. [ 15 ]

In some artistic undertakings it is possibly no longer possible to pull a line between where descriptive anthropology ends and art Begins. Surely the issues raised in modern-day ethnographic art are interrupting new land. For illustration, Nikki S Lee has been described as dividing the dialectical yoke of experience and reading, which is foundational to traditional descriptive anthropology based on participant observation. In making so she describes new quandary and jobs for the creative person as ethnographer [ 16 ] ; as we shall see in the following chapter.

Chapter Two Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee, a Korean-American creative person provides an interesting first illustration of the interaction between the two subjects of art and descriptive anthropology. In the instance of Nikki S. Lee’s work, the creative person begins to get the better of ( and arguably raises further ) jobs associated with the recording and perusal of societal groups. The creative person immerses herself in the societal stereotype which she surveies ; dressing herself to be, and moving the portion of, that really stereotype. As seen in Lee’s exposures –The Drag Queen I997, and The Yuppie Project, 1998, ( see Appendix 1 ) , The creative person has composed herself as being cardinal to the image and doing direct oculus contact with the camera, asseverating her presence, and promoting the spectator to authenticate her as one of the group with whom she stands. The exposure are enlarged, taken as snapshots into a minute for the creative person and spectator, and at the same clip precipitating a sudden penetration into the manner of life of the topics. From an ethnographic point of position this causes the spectator to see both the stableness and altering dynamism of societal groups, yet from an artistic point of view the composing is familiar and identifiable ; the snapshot being something that is systematically present in people’s lives. Here art and descriptive anthropology are set apart in extreme from one another, yet as we shall see this relationship is dynamic in plants of modern-day creative persons, doing the line between art and descriptive anthropology to go so all right that it might about non be at that place at all.

Although the initial entreaty of Lee’s work is the ‘one-liner of descrying Lee and decrypting her mask ( you could name it the ‘Where’s Waldo? ’ consequence ) , the artist brings fresh and energetic spirit to what is frequently a lifelessly serious argument over assimilation and ‘passing.’ ’ [ 17 ] These footings relate to the issue of how and whether immigrants and members of marginalised groups enter mainstream civilization. [ 18 ] However, Lee promotes herself as suiting into both mainstream and fringy civilizations – therefore exemplifying the importance of boundaries – from visual aspect and frock to the socialised norms which are generated by different cultural and societal groups.

However, Coles strongly advocates for Nikki S. Lee’s worknonto be taken so earnestly. He suggests that to comprehend the artist’s ‘fun’ jubilation of the public presentation of multiple individualities [ … . ] as holding eternal possibilities and [ … ] to ( conclude ) that somehow the creative person is involved in disjointing the construct of the modern topic, is to wholly misrecognise the push of the work.’ [ 19 ] Ultimately Coles suggests that Lee’s manner is one which asserts the topic as ‘autonomous and centred one time again.’ This is surely reflected in how Lee presents herself in the exposure. For illustration, inThe Young Japaneseshe stands on the terminal of a line of people, the nearest individual being stood following to an unfastened door. Two things are traveling on here on two different degrees. Scientifically she has taken all the necessary stairss for research – she has spent clip with the topics, she has spoken in deepness to them, she has recorded their frock codification – but has she crossed the line towards going one of them? From a strictly nonsubjective point of position – to those who don’t know Lee or her work she is a credible Nipponese individual: she has superficially become a member of that group. Yet subjectively, from within the position of the art universe her mask remains basically crystalline: she remains an perceiver – 1 who is separated from her topics by her really bodily signifier. This means that her work is non cosmopolitan – it can non be appreciated in the same sense by people who know herandby those who do non cognize her. This in itself is an interesting cultural differentiation. Furthermore, she can non step outside of, or transform her organic structure to go person else – she will basically stay the looker-on. Unlike Cindy Sherman, Lee’s work isn’t about going person else. She does non take the mask so menu that she can non be recognised, yet her assorted pretenses make her intentionally anon. and this repeat – of seeing her in many embodiments – is what serves to stalk the imaginativeness and endanger the sense of individuality of the spectator.

Her work high spots the shallowness of societal individuality – the thought that taking apparels and forging 1s hair in a certain manner can be plenty of a mask, without changing facial characteristics and clamber coloring material. One of the most of import ethnographic statements, which she herself puts forward is that ‘even the subcultures one is seemingly born into, such as cultural groups, are more socially unstable and self-subscribing than conventionally believed.’ [ 20 ] In other words, societal groups are non at that place because they have been marginalised, but because they find security in taking to organize such groups: they exist cognizing that mainstream civilization is easy accessible. Yet more than this Lee’s work suggests that mainstream civilization itself no longer lives by its name. It is an old label for a modern-day manner of life where ‘mainstream’ is really made up of many smaller watercourses, all with a grade of influence non so different from the following.

The sum of clip which Lee’s spends with her topics – typically a few hebdomads – calls into inquiry the cogency of her research. We have to take her research at face value, which is possibly the whole point – reminding us of the credibleness which mainstream western civilization topographic points upon visual aspects. This scaling down of the research procedure is mentioned by Clifford to hold been born during the 1920’s, when institutional and methodological modernisation circumvented the barriers to geting rapid cognition of other civilizations. [ 21 ] Culture was ‘construed as an ensemble of characteristic behaviors, ceremonials, and gestures susceptible to entering and account by a trained onlooker.’ [ 22 ] As a consequence, the participant-observer emerged as a research norm. It is possibly because of this long established method of research that Lee’s work can be taken by some to be so of import. Clifford states that ‘participant observation serves as stenography for uninterrupted tacking between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of events: on the one manus hold oning the sense of specific happenings [ … ] on the other stepping back to locate these significances in wider contexts.’ [ 23 ]

Lee does so hold on the particular and set it within a wider context. She focuses on the most peculiar of inside informations – from lip rouge, to hair manner, to the appropriate sort of airs. These inside informations give the creative person a signifier of authorization. As Coles phrases it:

the attractive force to the marks of experience ( sooner of the unusual, utmost, painful, or unsafe sort ) , [ .. ] would look to give grounds of and corroborate the legitimacy of a subject’s authorization as the alone witness/author of a certain cultural cognition, one that belongs to no 1 else. [ 24 ] Thus, experience becomes non something to mensurate or command – as traditional scientific attacks might hold it – but becomes, as Coles says, ‘culturally and psychically mediated every bit good as historically determined.’

To reason this first chapter, it can be said that Lee’s work provides an interesting balance between the extreme of superficial aesthetics and deeper psychological probe. Her exposure at one time demand that she looks further than the outward markers which identify one individual from another, while at the same clip depending on those very markers for her art. Lee has been compared to Cindy Sherman – uniting the ‘shape-and-identity-shifting of Sherman with the intense immediateness and coaction moral force of Goldin.’ [ 25 ] It is non easy to go on after Sherman, whose exposure made such an impact at the clip. Yet Lee possibly takes a path that non many others would hold considered: carry oning ethnographic research and entering it with a simple snapshot. Thus her work non merely entreaties to those with blithe screening in head, but besides to that critic who wishes to research the boundaries between what is art and what is scientific discipline. Clifford argues that recent tendencies in descriptive anthropology have sought to give a greater authorization to the translator, non the 1 who experiences. Lee neatly sidesteps the job of author-authority by utilizing the insouciant medium of the snapshot. In short, in order to convey her message she does non dress up her art utilizing deep overtones or equivocal signifiers, alternatively she dresses herself up and topographic points herself in ordinary contexts.

Chapter Three Lan Tauzon and Steven Willats

The Anthropologist’s Table,a presentation by Lan Tuazon,a New York creative person,references, among others, issues of stableness, temporalty, and authorization. It uses mundane familiar signifiers and objects – a tabular array ; newspaper film editings ; desk contents ; – and arranges them so they become unfamiliar and undependable beginnings of information. Coles depicts the tabular array as ‘not big plenty to be a proper desk ; non little plenty to be a child’s toy [ … ] a diagram, a conventional drawing-in-space that stands as a mark of a fabulous tabular array instead than functioning as a existent piece of functional furniture.’ [ 26 ] Tuazon’s divergence from what is perceived as normal or existent – Internet Explorer: the traditional construct of a tabular array and its purpose – is meant so that the objects fall into the uncategorized. There are an mixture of points beneath the glass tabletop, including a computing machine disc, a cigar, an empty box of map tacks, and some coins. The types of objects and their agreement leads the spectator to oppugn what they see – and to oppugn what critics, such as Coles, might term a ‘proper desk.’ Even the placing of the objects is non straightforward – they are embedded into the table’s wooden surface, the depressions repeating and keeping the form of the objects, which Coles suggests is an assistance to ‘furthering the photographic logic of a captured frozenness of the arrangement.’ [ 27 ] Behind the tabular array are close-ups of magazine articles: one on the Tasaday Stone-Age people of the Philippines, who were discovered in 1971. The back-to-back article shows aNewsweeknarrative uncovering the Tasaday narrative to hold been a fraud contrived to pervert the Ferdinand Marcos government. [ 28 ]

Surely Tuazon’s work reveals the potency for scientific research and coverage to be hypocrite and undependable. Yet the context which this thought is presented is itself undependable and intentionally set out of context ( the puting together of random objects and specific articles ) . This causes the translator to oppugn the cogency of qualitative research as a agency to doing statements of findings concerned with civilization and the societal scientific disciplines. More specifically, Tuazon’s work is implicative of the thought that a narrative can be made from anything – every bit long as a credible nexus or ‘fact’ exists as grounds. This is extremely effectual both as an artistic statement, and a review of the methodological analysis employed in societal scientific disciplines. It besides shows that our building of thoughts about different civilizations are easy shaped by what we see, hear, and read approximately. Indeed, critics have called this kind of affinity between anthropology and art ‘as discursive sphere for groking or measuring cultural activity, ’ [ 29 ] – a statement that is certainly illustrated in the work of Tuazon.

Steven Willats

Steven Willats, a British creative person, creates undertakings which focus on the relationships between persons in society, how people encounter one another, and the ways in which they respond to their environment. He seeks to withstand the belief in the thought of the creative person as a individual Godhead by affecting participants – sometimes in an environment that is specifically inhabited by them. [ 30 ] The witness can no longer look on, indulging in inactive self-contemplation, and alternatively becomes actively involved in an experiment, someplace between artistic and ethnographic.

While the creative person evidently has a construct of what he is seeking to carry through, the function of the confederates — in taking specific imagination or objects to snap, in re-explaining their environment — strongly grounds the work in mundane experience. These coactions with different groups and persons give each work a strong sense of individuality, which no one individual — creative person or otherwise — couldachieve. [ 31 ] Willats’ work, Freezone, consists of computing machine screens and a individual tall tower marked with important sites down Oxford Street. It enables witnesss to go participants by holding how to depict what they see, and so come oning down the street from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus. As they proceed the tower lights up. As Kelly says, ‘this is non merely the merchandise of two or three controlled possibilities, but a multiplicity of picks, which, as you proceed, Tells you something of your ain unconscious prepossessions and attitudes to society.’ [ 32 ] This is an of import undertaking as it draws analogues in people’s heads between their internal universe ( their head ) and their external milieus ( London ) . Furthermore, Willats highlights the cultural significance of the material universe and its influence on how people perceive one another. As Sharon Daniel, an creative person and lector phrases it:

Participants are engaged in a mode, which facilitates productive self-expression, increases societal or political consciousness, and challenges cultural codifications. In ethical art pattern the position of each person audience/participant is actively solicited, and incorporated without censoring. [ 33 ]

It is a reproduction of life in an artistic and scientific model – one where the creative person has a function as interior decorator but does non hold an overall authorization. This ability of an creative person to present interdisciplinary subjects and manners of research sets about redefining their ain relationship to the universe every bit good as those of their participants. Such creative persons take on a automatic function: ‘rather than reflect the universes of the powerful, or the universe of visual aspects they join doctrine to inquire, what is the universe? ’ [ 34 ] As we have seen, a turning figure of creative persons have used the ethnographer’s specifying methodological analysis of participant observation in their critical pattern. Such attempts have caused theoreticians, both art historical and anthropological, to compose about the ‘artist as ethnographer’ [ 35 ] Hal Foster in his essay ‘The Artist as Ethnographer’ recognises that the usage of participant observation by creative persons suggests a ‘sort of ethnographer-envy.’

is the creative person the example here, or is this figure non a projection of a peculiar ideal self-importance – of the anthropologist as a collagist, semiologist, avant-gardist?[ 36 ]

Foster’s work suggests that art with descriptive anthropology is non come ining the kingdom of scientific question at all – but is alternatively reassigning artistic positions onto the anthropological subject. That is to state that the thought of an anthropologist is being taken by the creative person and shaped by them into a construct that is neither art nor scientific discipline, but someplace in between. Anthropologic discourse is nil more than a projection of an ideal by the creative person themselves – it still basically remains art and can ne’er truly become cross-disciplinary. The following chapter explores the work of Renee Green, who seeks to deconstruct the foundations of anthological research ; a construct certainly non possible from a strictly artistic place?

Chapter Four Renee Green

Renee Green is an creative person and author who lives in New York and Vienna. Her work since the early 1990’s is peculiarly relevant to this survey where she reintroduces constructs associated with the conceptual art of the 1970ss. Simon Leung, an creative person and member of the column board of Art Journal, suggests that the re-working of 1970ss conceptualism came as a reaction to the bursting of the 19080’s art bubble, when the art market plummeted. The traveling together of the scientific disciplines and humanistic disciplines therefore was therefore brought about by a demand to re-invent the art universe, affecting ‘an ambitious rethinking of the function of art during a fractured historical minute, of the possibility that extremist potencies that are associated with conceptualism can be rethought, rescued, and reworked.’ [ 37 ]

InImport/Export Funk Office,Green used the forepart of an official presentation to ‘expose the collusion of ethnography’s primitivist phantasies with the political and societal worlds of colonialism.’ [ 38 ] In short she deconstructed what some countries of research had been building for old ages – a deceitful show window of research that was selectively representative for political and cultural grounds personal to single states and/or people. Possibly most interesting is that these inequalities may non even have been knowing on the portion of research workers who were rooted in the tradition of their establishment.

Another of import undertaking that links anthropological facets with Green’s ain personal remembrances is ‘Partially Buried in Three Parts ( Partially Buried, Ubertragen/Transfer, and Partially Buried Continued ) , ’ which involves a web of genealogical hints probed through the impressions of sites of memory every bit good as site-specific work. The research is therefore based in abstract, personal remembrances every bit good as venues representative of mundane life. Each portion overlaps with another, while look intoing how people reinterpret their yesteryear while go oning their on-going relationship with their present fortunes. Among some of the inquiries Green asks are: What could the impression of “ site or nonsite ” mean today? How are the returns of what is repressed, mediated, and how make these break out? [ 39 ] The construct of being an American creative person, and the national and cultural inclinations brought to our attending include information, memory, and its contradictions ; commemorations and memorials ; nostalgia ; and ‘radical’ alteration repeated as manner. [ 40 ]

The nexus back to the 1970’s is of import for Green as it was in 1970 that Robert Smithson produced his site-specific work Partially Buried Woodshed at Kent State University in Ohio. In May 1970 four pupils were shot while go toing a mass meeting protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. “ May 4, 1970 ” was painted on Partially Buried Woodshed shortly subsequently, and the graphics took on another significance. [ 41 ] In Partially Buried, Green includes Footage of theoretical accounts of New York ; a German plaything train passing through a exemplary metropolis ; desk with Smithson sculpture book and laptop screen ; image of Partially Buried Woodshed ; map of Kent, Ohio ; 1970 New York Times Encyclopedic Almanac ; and a still exposure of Robert Smithson and Robert Morris mounting a fencing ; all of which is interrupted with running text at intervals. Here, Green utilizations images associated with her childhood as a peculiar point or site of return in order to look into her place within the civilization of American creative persons. Yet more than this she chooses the images to stand for the kind of undertones and forces which ‘affected her before she was consciously cognizant of their capacity to shape.’ [ 42 ] Green’s work is intriguing because it symbolises the witting and unconscious fright of burying everything that leads to us going who we are ; those niceties of idea and feeling which are associated with abstract or little events which tend to be of small effect to anyone else. Those peculiar mentions back to childhood which the head picks up on and maintain safe for the span of a life – the ground tackles, if you like, to the vass of memory. Without account, this undertaking ab initio appears unusual and abstract. As Evelyn Hatcher, an Art Anthropologist, says of the contemplation of unfamiliar art signifiers:

Peoples sometimes are content to look at an unfamiliar work of art merely to react to its statement straight, but normally they are non content to halt at that place ; they besides want to cognize some thing about the work, and what the work is approximately. They ask “ where did it come from? ” “ how was it made? ” “ who made it? ” and “ what does it intend? ”[ 43 ]

By comparing, ‘Platform: Ongoing Dialogues and Work’ is an attempt by Green to non so much encourage inquiries within the perceiver, but do them to go involved in the exhibition. It explored the societal procedures involved creativeness by dwelling of a series of public presentations and treatments with groups and persons ( designers, creative persons, Web interior decorators, publishing houses ) that were recorded and presented in the signifier of slides, texts, and pictures scattered around the infinite for shoping. Like much 1960ss and 1970ss work Green ‘s platforms combine unrecorded interaction with the grounds of past activities. The existent objects that constitute the more touchable facet of her work are non confined to the walls of the gallery ; each installing offers both a vehicle for future cooperation an vitamin D a glance into the current province of Green ‘s research.

A reappraisal of an exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York in 2001, assembled by Annette Schindler, included ‘Platform: Ongoing Dialogues and Work, ’ by Renee Green. Along with two other undertakings this installing was proposed in order to reflect the thought of cultural labor, foregrounding the societal mechanisms at interest in the procedure of creativeness and how it is perceived by others. Therefore, there was an accent on the activity involved and less attending paid to aesthetic issues. As Williams says in his review, this mellow attitude sing the conditions of show merely meant more accent on the subject of production, giving ‘priority to the participatory nature of the exhibition instead than concentrating on the creative persons ‘ finished output.’ [ 44 ] Here it seems that the research and experience involved both for the creative person and witness took precedency over the aesthetic consequence. Boundaries are pushed, and as Williams says: ‘for the visitant who took the clip to adequately prosecute the stuffs, the line between work and play blurred.’ [ 45 ] Yet possibly more than this, ‘Platform: Ongoing Dialogues and Work’ explores the lines between art and scientific discipline, with more depending upon ongoing engagement than on a individual terminal merchandise. Green can non command the variables in her undertaking – in fact her show leaves itself unfastened to any figure of changing people turning up to see her work. This gives the potency for a fresh reading unique to each participant, therefore a new piece of art is created each clip alternatively of the traditional thought of many different people contemplating the same piece, albeit in different ways. Therefore, the scientific term ‘project’ or ‘study’ is a more suited term than ‘piece.’

Green’s work is diverse and frequently extremely personal. It provokes empathy every bit good as wonder amongst viewing audiences. These are qualities which are alone to Renee Green and alone to ethnographic art, possibly representative of something that is genuinely on the in-between land between art and scientific discipline.


This thesis has looked into the beginnings of ethnographic survey and its gradual integrating with the instruction and pattern of art. A noticeable displacement has occurred during the last 10 old ages, where more modern-day creative persons are following the participant observation methodological analysis associated with ethnographic survey.

In the Western universe today most people enjoy populating in a multi-cultural society – something that has opened our eyes to the complexnesss of the many different human civilizations bing in and about one another. In an attempt to unveil these complexnesss both on a societal and personal degree, creative persons such as Renee Green and Nikki S Lee have presented their ain versions of media footage and text to their audiences with the thought that the person can work outtheirain version excessively – and non be shown by the creative person.

In the illustrations studied we have seen how traditional artistic methods have about been dropped wholly by some modern-day creative persons. The ‘nuanced qualities of the particular’ so typical of great painters such as Bonnard and Hopper have been seen to ‘slow down perceptual experience and invite geographic expedition ( Dewey 1934 ) .’ Taken from Addisson and Burgess p.53. Yet modern-day undertakings possibly do more than this by oppugning the really mechanisms of perceptual experience while actively researching.

These yearss the pattern and merchandises of qualitative research have much in common with the patterns used in the humanistic disciplines. Qualitative research workers pay careful attending to extremely nuanced qualities in both their consumption and their end product ; they are focused on instances, that is, on the peculiar ; they use signifiers of communicating that are intended to make more than Tell, but to demo, that is, to convey a sense or feeling of individual or topographic point. [ 46 ] Qualitative research has much to make with doing graphic what had been vague – in descriptive anthropology this is termed doing the strange familiar, and the familiar strange. Therefore, there are facets of qualitative research which have much in common with the humanistic disciplines, which is why the two work so good together in the undertakings which have been studied in this thesis.

The consciousness of descriptive anthropology as an advanced, albeit potentially debatable, addendum to other research methods has a long history in the discourse of institutionalised art history [ 47 ] : one which will go on to develop and research personal and cultural boundaries. Through participatory undertakings utilizing new technological developments the instruction and pattern of all right art is progressively happening itself on the interdisciplinary cusp between art and scientific discipline. It is hopeful that more professionals will recognize the worth of ethnographic art and appreciate that it’s foundations are every bit dependable as those methodological analysiss found in the societal scientific disciplines today.


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Appendix 1:The Drag Queen:Nikki S. Lee, 1997. AndThe Yuppie Project.1998.