Wilfred Ukpong

Blazon Chapters: Creative Interventions in the Margin of Two Worlds – Art and Social Praxis 

Aims, Objectives and Methods:

My research over the past four years has been concerned with developing a series of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, context specific and practice based inquiries that explore alternative creative intervention methods and strategies in the margins of art and social praxis.

The methods employed are linked with experimental processes of investigation and articulation of conceptual frameworks – drawn from the fields of interventionist Post-Conceptual Art practices, Critical Aesthetics, Dialectic Materialism, Relational Aesthetics and most significant the concept of Social Sculpture – (Joseph Beuys and Shelley Sacks) – in which the evolving work in Nigeria is situated.

Much of the practice-based research that has followed has been developed through collaborative workshops, site installations, performance-actions, filmic and sound projects across a series of non artistic locations e.g. oil production sites and fishing communities.

These interventions have been conceived as experimental (mapping processes) and ways to facilitate sets of enquiries in response to my research questions: can artistic-interventions facilitate useful models of social emancipation and if so, how can such models be developed and sustained in direct response to the socio-political realities of a specific context? Secondly, if such artistic-interventions are able to evoke empathy in arts audiences, how can such forms function in social or public arenas with audiences unfamiliar with artistic forms? And finally what forms of engagement can facilitate an immediacy of social exchange while trying to retain the processual aesthetic structure of the work’s ongoing evolution? These questions have been pivotal and relevant throughout my investigation.



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