Black Life Matters: Did It Change Our Perception of Art?


Through this presentation, I wish to share the research findings of the Tolerable Art project, and demonstrate how it will be leading to a ‘creative outcome’. I will also be wondering if the ‘creative outcome’ of the project remains ‘art’ in the typical sense. Tolerable Art research project started in April 2022. It is concerned with the shift in perception of the visual representation of historical and political matters in this day and age, particularly after Black Life Matters movement. It is questioning whether the role of art has shifted from glorifying the most powerful, to raising awareness of societal issues and making a statement against injustice. In this instance we are referring to protests and sculptures’ removals started in summer 2020, for examples; the removal of the statues of Sir John Cass and William Beckford in London. Audiences, following this movement, rejected the negative connotations of certain sculptured figures in relation to Britain’s practice of slavery from 1663 until 1807. A historical study was conducted to find out the context surrounding the most problematic historical monuments in UK, which are related to slavery and colonialism. The results was used in a survey addressed to the public. Through this quantitative research, I was able to understand people’s reactions to those historical statuses, and how their view has shifted in recent times. The innovative element in this project is responding to the research findings visually, in an attempt to try and create what would be a socially accepted piece of ‘art’.

Author Information
Hala Georges, University of Northampton, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Visual Archives

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon