Art as Social Practice – a critical investigation of works by Kenneth A. Balfelt is a publication on contemporary art practices concerned and engaged in social issues and life presenting five earlier works by the Danish artist Kenneth A. Balfelt and with theoretical contributions by Barbara Steiner (DE), Brett Bloom (US), Matthias Hvass Borello (DK) and Daniel Tucker (US).
The aim of the book is to vitalize and qualify the critical language around and on social practices as a part of the contemporary art field. It contains both introductions to five projects, interviews with the people involved in the projects and finally four essays trying to reflect on the impact of these kinds of artworks in the bigger picture and society.
Artists involved in actual social contexts often initiates a ‘knowledge production’ that propagates and remains ‘out there’, independent of and beyond the art institution. The institutional circuit offers few platforms specifically devoted to a social art practice, which means that the thought, development and critical language of, and applied to, this art form has been distinctly absent. What happens when artists become socially engaged in specific societal situations? What is the experience of those who encounter and become involved in social art in the public arena? What kind of knowledge production transpires in this specific context, and how can it be articulated, propagated and evaluated?
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