What I believe is meant by ‘context’
I have asked countless times what ‘context’ means in terms of art.
No one has ever given me a straight answer.
Therefore, my own reply to the question is:
I would usually say something to the effect that art and context is to do with bringing art practice out of the studio and closer to everyday life – achieving this in any and every way one can think of.
Also, that awareness of context applies at many levels, including the immediate context (where and with whom one works – who the work is for), as well as the wider cultural contexts in which we live.
The sceptics would often say, “isn’t all art in a social context?”
While true, this was really missing the point.
I believe the examining body are specifically addressing the issue of context – therefore different to courses and practices that left this aspect of art unquestioned.
Also, I believe that whilst on this course we were primarily relating our work to places and groups within which art is not normally practiced (i.e. not just any context).
Ideally, I believe contextual art is an art that would only make sense (and sometimes could only exist) within its chosen setting.
I therefore argue that on this course: – ‘The context is half the work’.
I would say In actual fact, my explanations concerning context never really came home to my peers, or tutors until they experienced what it meant in practice – in terms of their own work applied in particular settings.