Audience or publics?: discrepancy between claims made around addressing broader publics and the realities of target audiences (2020)
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Submitted as a research paper for my MA in Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts, assessed by external examiner Dr Janna Graham. Received the highest mark and comments for outstanding brilliance for the paper, which is still being used as an exemplification on the MA course.
With many site specific exhibitions focused on addressing the general public, this study analyses the discrepancy between claims made around addressing wider publics and the realities of target audiences in curatorial practice. It questions how differences in site specific curatorial frameworks affect visitors’ disposition and engagement. The paper offers case studies on site specific exhibitions – Objectivity at Chelsea College of Arts; Horizon Line Chamber by Chris Drury in Sunderland Point, Lancashire and Pan African Flags by Larry Achiampong (commissioned by Art for Underground) at Westminster Station, London – in the public domain and in the institutional context, the goal of which is to gain a better understanding of curatorial discrepancies in order to promote a more inclusive art scene. The paper suggests that the rise of pseudo-public spaces accompanied with its set conditions introduce more questions about publics and audiences than it answers – specifically how they lead to bigger issues of mediated publics and diffused audiences in the backdrop of technological and media advancements, alongside changes in Europe with Brexit.