Accepted paper:

Who is precarious now? An exploration of homing through art

Authors:

Victoria Walters (UWE Bristol)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will discuss the approach of a number of fine artists to the creation of temporary homes or shelters, ascertaining whether such practice-led research might offer "models that anthropologists can think with” (George E. Marcus, 2008).

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will discuss the approaches of a number of fine artists to the creation of temporary homes, focusing principally on the work of Do Ho Suh, Lucy Orta, Andrea Zittel and Nick Cave. In so doing I seek to address a number of questions: to what degree do these artists' works offer viable protective possibilities for those seeking shelter? Do such art projects directly address the needs of people fleeing from war, sleeping rough, or seeking refuge from difficult and painful contexts, or do they rather seek to sensitize gallery audiences to critical issues around dwelling and homing? How do the artists' approaches to home connect to or differ from those of anthropologists, whose concern is with understanding and theorizing the complexity of people's lived experience of home? Is there a considerable zone of overlap? I am particularly interested here in how art works may blur the distinction between the researcher and the field, and the particular and the general condition. To what degree can art offer anthropology models that alert us to both the potentials and dangers of emergency or temporary homes, while connecting to broader questions around life lived in the context of increasing precarization?

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Experimenting with methods in critical affective research