The artist as historyteller within museum and heritage sites

Bendon, Helen ORCID logoORCID: (2018) The artist as historyteller within museum and heritage sites. [Doctorate by Public Works]

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The public works presented for this PhD are commissioned art projects that explore the role of the artist as historyteller within museum and heritage sites. I coin the hybrid term historytelling (between storytelling and historiography) to situate my practice as both an artistic and a historiographic practice. The works utilise photography, film, installation, and locative technologies in the production of narrative-based work for three commissioned projects undertaken between 2005-2015. The public works consist of: a series of exhibited film works and a book chapter produced as an artist in residence within VivaCity2020, an interdisciplinary research project with a focus on Clerkenwell, London; a physical and online museum interpretation zone including film and augmented reality (AR) for the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM); and a locative historytelling iOS app for Alexandra Palace and Park. Each of these works engages public audiences in representations of the past. Building on the feminist principles of my previous work, my approach to these public works is to employ feminist methodologies, working against meta-narrators in history discourses. I extend deconstructivist discourse in historiography and new museum theory into art practice to demonstrate how the artist can contribute in the construction of histories for public audiences.
As a practitioner, I reflect on the methods and modes of telling that interweave across these projects, exploring the intersection between form (creative application of media technologies), methods (feminist, collaborative, narrative, historiographical, and interdisciplinary) and context (of representing pasts in public settings through commission).
I argue that by operating both within and outside institutions, the commissioned artist can affect a temporary, subversive intervention in research and museum/heritage site projects, more attuned with the volatility of the present that perpetually changes our connection to the past. In this state of volatility, the submitted artworks exemplify that the artist is uniquely positioned to articulate, within and against institutional frameworks, the flux of historytelling.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
B. > Doctorates by Public Works
Item ID: 25440
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 10:38
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:34

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