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MA Studio-Site/Site-Studio, 20th October 2021

In this lecture, Dr Dale Holmes gave a presentation discussing the concept of studio spaces, how they can differ in terms of their design and how this can affect the work. Dale Holmes described art as something of a social activity. It is something that keeps us busy, active, and thinking about how we perceive the world around us. This mental attitude that we develop is an amalgamation of so many external forces and depending on what we experience in terms of external input, these things can massively alter the course of our practice and how we develop work inside of said practice. Holmes made cases to support this, by showing many pieces of his own work, in which he would often go to pop up studio spaces to create new pieces of work. This is evident in his work that he made at Grove Tennis Court in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield. By being in this space, he was able to develop work in reaction to it and how he had perceived this space that at one point would have been widely used but now due to the recent climate is now often left untouched. When tasked with a group activity to provide a question for him, we asked him if creating work in this space had affected the overall outcome of the work, as he was very clear on the use of external forces to influence his approach as a practitioner, that would extend to the change in space acting as an external force that would ultimately change his outcome. He agreed, saying that the works overall themes and visual style might have been drastically different if he were to find somewhere else to develop this project.

He then went on to describe what could be called a dispersion of art. This dispersion is the act of creating a singular piece of art, to which more art will then be created as a response or a reaction to the original piece. This essentially states that certain pieces of art, or certain movements act as catalysts to other art, creating a feeding off of itself, a never-ending loop in which something is made as some form of a response to something else. It does need to be stated though that he didn't think this led to a dilution in concepts, to which I would agree. A dilution implies that as more work gets created, the weaker the overall concept/message becomes, which I agree is not the case. These messages simply change as this reactionary work is created, creating a shift in messaging rather than a weakening.

Following on from this, Holmes started to discuss some of the most heavily influential reactionary groups within the art world. These two being Dada and Neo-Dada. Dada was an early 20th Century movement that stemmed not long after the First World War. This was most likely as a result to roaring 20’s which saw an increase in Materialism and Vanity, as Dada seemed to act as an antithesis to this, sharing a lot of anti-bourgeois and anti-capitalist views. Neo Dada came after the Second World War to close the gap in terms of the ideas that Dadaism aimed to explore at its peak, taking more a more absurdist approach to these beliefs. All of these things are physical embodiments of the things that Dale Holmes talked about in his lectures. That extension of one artistic belief into the next through Dada and Neo-Dada shows how the messaging never becomes weakened or less concentrated, it just purely shifts form into something more contemporary.

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