Welcome Happy Sausage
Community is neither a community of subjects, nor a promise
of immanence, nor a communion of individuals in some higher or greater
totality. . . It is not, most specifically, the product of any work
or project; it is not work, not a product of projected labor, nor
an oeuvre, but what is unworked,des oeuvre. -George Van Den
This project began as a group of questions which were discussed throughout
our time in this location, yet never fully resolved. What is public
art? What is the role of the artist within a community? What is community?
Is it always desirable or responsible for artists to influence and
change their surroundings?
The ambiguous nature of this experience was interesting and proved
a challenge. None of us knew what we were getting into when we signed
up for Civic Studio. The first day of class, we met at the university
for discussion and then drove to 665 Bridge Street to see where we
would be spending our semester. After days of renovating the space,
it finally came together and began to feel like something. Much of
the time spent in the space consisted of dialogue about public art,
which was integral to the studio work.
These projects are a visual inquiry of things experienced in or influenced
by the area, yet we are not trying to define Bridge Street. Nor are
we trying to claim a more knowledgeable view of the things around
us. This area is a distinct place; it retains a sense of individuality
unlike areas that have been overtaken by chain stores and restaurants.
The work is relevant to this neighborhood yet still possesses substance
outside of it. We are attempting to look honestly at our surroundings
and our role as artists here without idealizing them. These pieces
are an exploration of identity; they are not definitive truths.
True dialogue, the mutual pursuit of critical understanding
among equals, will lead to critical consciousness for all involved.
Adrienne Quint, Curator