WAA.059

Sara Selwood, Susan Hiller, Terry Atkinson, Jon Bird and Michael Baldwin; Air Gallery, London; 25/2/87

Cultural analyst Sara Selwood chairs this discussion entitled 'The Gap Between Intent and Accessibility' which emerged from ongoing debates Selwood had been engaged in withvarious artists and theorists. It concerns the implications of public art as 'service' to political consciousness. Does the making of accessible art imply a lowering of standards?

Susan Hiller is an American born artist. Hiller's work often gives value to seemly minor everyday ephemera, an excavation of the culture which she inhabits, positioning the artist as anthropologist. Hiller begins by picking up on the issue of 'internationalist fallacy', arguing that the gap between intention and interpretation is desirable. What are the unconscious aspects of production and how are these allowed for by a non-ego based view of the author?

Michael Baldwin and Terry Atkinson founded the conceptual collaboration Art and Language in the 1960s with fellow artists David Bainbridge and Harold Hurrel. Atkinson asks, is art a cognitive activity? If so, how is the Socialist Realism of Russia less cognitive than the 'free art' of the West?

Independent curator Jon Bird was at this time in the process of putting together a retrospective of Nancy Spero's work at the ICA in London. Bird is concerned with the implications of these questions upon his own position as a curator and critic. He views the concept of public as abstract; audiences are made up of multiple marginalities. How does artwork engage with the apparent public and if so how does that position the critic?


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Accession No. WAA.059
Artist: Sara Selwood, Susan Hiller, Terry Atkinson, Jon Bird and Michael Baldwin
Container annotation: The Gap Between Intent and Accessibility
Place/Year: Air Gallery, London 25/2/87
Type: Round table discussion
Release status: CC BY-NC-SA (Individual)
Technical aspects: Clear sound
Duration: 01:31:33
Tape capacity: 90'
Tape brand: TDK