Re-Presenting the Everyday: Situational Practice and Ethnographic Conceptualism

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James Oliver
Marnie Badham


Using as a starting point a community-based art project that the authors collaborated on as artists-researchers, this article is a methodological discussion on the development of “situational practice.” This is an art practice-as-research approach, positioned as conceptual, ethnographic, and reflexive, therefore resonating with this special issue’s theme of ethnographic conceptualism. Our aim is to foster and develop a methodological debate that encourages cross-disciplinary work enhancing practice-as-research development in art—with our particular interest being the creative convergence between everyday life and forms of social practice in the arts: art practices broadly defined as socially engaged, participatory, and activating. The article draws on a use of theory—such as Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov’s reference to Paul Rabinow’s concept of “remediation,” David MacDougall’s idea of “transcending culture,” and Henri Lefebvre’s use of “sublation”—to position situational practice as a form of ethnographic conceptualism. In doing so this article is a proposition on methodology and for experimentation across art and anthropology and for innovation in approaches to practice-as-research in the arts. In English, extended summary in Russian.


Situational Practice, The Everyday, Methodology, Art and Community, Representation

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