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This practice-led research project attempts to seek out and reveal the structures that frame the production of art practice, through and with art practice itself. With this premise in mind, the first phase of the study aims to use practice-led research by adopting quasi-ethnographic strategies firstly to explore the field of artistic production, and secondly in an attempt to activate, capture and contain tangible evidence that the artistic field is powered by persuasive informal discourse and practices that contribute to stringent and hierarchical rules of engagement. Entering the second phase of the project the contribution of this study is based on the proposition that as a research project it utilises the performative lecture to position art practice as a formal presentation model demonstrating that art practice in and of itself can act as an appropriate tool to articulate the findings from the practice-led research cited above. The study aims to demonstrate that art practice can be an adept conceptual, contextual mode of communicating its own particular character, to iterate and embody its own hierarchical structures and articulate, critically, by rendering visible its structures and evasive, invisible properties.
Through a decisive performative approach adopted in the second phase of the project, the artworks produced seek to tease out and form a type of rebuttal towards the problem of subjectivity inherent in my position as a researcher in relation to my research enquiry, that is, the problem of how an artist can make critical artworks about the system of which he/she is a part. This teasing out process is done by attempting to attain an insightful ‘inter-subjective’ reflexivity around my research enquiry through performative practice and by adopting self-conscious strategies. These self-conscious attributes aim to acknowledge, harness and present nuances of subjectivity, coupled with and couched in a formal academic context where the performative works play out, acting as an objective frame for the work.
Through a body of practice contained on the accompanying website (naomi-sex.com) and text including various theoretical references where at conceptually relevant points art practice theory and textual content intersect and interface, this project as a whole aims to present and contextualise the subject of my enquiry, its influencing factors and the outcomes of the research period.
Sex, N. (2012). Practice makes practice...visible?:revealing structures of the artistic field by articulating the evasive properties inherent in its systems of production through art practice. Doctoral Thesis. Dublin:National College of Art & Design.