Annemarie Kok | (No) Strings Attached. The Dynamics of Freedom and Control in European Participatory Art in the 1960s | Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculteit der Letteren, Kunst + architectuurgeschiedenis | Supervisors: prof.dr. Ann-Sophie Lehmann (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), dr. Patrick van Rossem (Universiteit Utrecht), dr. Sanneke Stigter (Universiteit van Amsterdam) | February 2015 – February 2020 | m.f.a.kok[at]rug.nl
This research project is concerned with participatory art in Europe in the long 1960s and focuses on three case studies: the People’s Participation Pavillion by John Dugger and David Medalla, Mesures à Prendre by Piotr Kowalski and Documenta der Leute by telewissen. These three participatory art projects were created by artists who lived and worked in Europe in the 1960s and have in common being exhibited at the fifth documenta in Kassel in 1972. With the help of concepts and methodological principles related to the Actor-Network-Theory (as formulated by Bruno Latour), this research traces actors that can be connected to the coming into being of these three pioneering artworks and the ideas and motives behind them. The project aims to give insight into the relationship between the flourishing of participatory art in the 1960s and a broader web of contextual factors. In addition, it aims to shed light on the dynamics of freedom and control that played a role in the artists’ shaping of their participatory artworks and in their vision of participation.