‘Collectivity as “muse”: Being public without a parachute’

Maree Bracker
2009 Conference

In this paper I will speculate on the term public as an opportunity for performativities rather than as a space, state or polity. To do this I’ll reflect upon a project comprising four installations made for the Jiggi School of Arts Hall in Northern New South Wales. This series was made in and for my valley community, and I limited invitations to the work to this geographic area – at least at first. One underlying thread for the project was my desire to practically and theoretically engage with an ‘intimate audience’. The project commenced with libation in March 2008, raft and kindle followed in July and October of that year and zephyr completed the series in February 2009. I will draw on writings by theorist and curator Irit Rugoff, to plot a turn from my ‘knowing’ position of academic and artist, and try out, what she terms, multi-inhabitations of ‘criticality’1 . Following Rugoff’s approach in her 2006 essay, ‘What is a Theorist’, I will try to undo, be without, be unfitting and entangled in order to wonder about what might have been enacted within these works, by whom, and what effects such enactments might produce in the world.2

  1. Irit Rogoff ‘What is a Theorist’ 8th April 2006, http://www.kein.org/node/62 (14.12.08)
  2. Ibid.
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About the author

Maree Bracker is an artist and academic living in Northern New South Wales. She also operates an organic farming operation with her partner. Her arts practice since the early 1990s has been focused upon site-specific, ephemeral installation and she teaches in the Visual Arts Program in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales