In a box

I read about a new exhibition entitled Art, Life, Activism being launched at the  Attenborough Arts Centre in this post in Disability Arts Online. It’s great to see art with a political voice.

However I got dismayed when I read:

University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre first opened 18 years ago, conceived by acclaimed actor Richard Attenborough as a space explicitly for disabled artists and audience members.

So one view is that a space has been made for disabled artists to show their work and disabled viewers to look at it and so that’s a good thing. But another view is that these approaches just keep disabled people in their place (excluded, isolated and stigmatised) while offering the illusion of emancipation.

Now if this exhibition was being shown  in places targeting the mainstream art loving audiences I might feel differently.

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About anomiepete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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4 Responses to In a box

  1. Quite right Pete. Completely agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanya says:

    I agree! (and then disagree!) Yes, there is no need to separate artists. But, it’s great that there is a space that gives opportunity. With the results of that opportunity, more widespread opportunities may open up. The issue is the ghettoization, if you get trapped there, it is no good.

    Like

    • anomiepete says:

      It’s not so much the creating space for disabled artists Tanya – that’s fine. It’s the assumption that disabled artists work are automatically linked to disabled viewers that pinched me – that is ghettoisation in my book.

      Like

      • Tanya says:

        I get it Pete, I also think though that the audience needs to be encouraged and a welcoming (and safe) place for those that might not embrace the arts instinctively might lead to seeking out art in more traditional spaces. I agree though that the audience should not be limited. Art is relevant to everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

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