Gossip pop: A performative investigation of the role of pop in contemporary art practice

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Dodd, Sue (2013) Gossip pop: A performative investigation of the role of pop in contemporary art practice. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


By broadening and redefining “pop,” this thesis intends to demonstrate pop’s potential to be considered in a manner that is productive for and applicable to contemporary art theory and practice. The research will be presented as a final survey or diachronic exhibition that will demonstrate the development of the series of Gossip Pop performances and exhibitions, together with a written exegesis. The practical component of this research will consist of writing, producing, performing and exhibiting a series of interdisciplinary visual artworks in a range of gallery contexts under the pseudonym or label Gossip Pop. These works, utilising visual and linguistic appropriation, repetition and performative methodologies, are constructed within the confines of their own self-contained Gossip Pop genre, which mimics the tropes of capitalist production and consumption, taking “pop” as an antecedent. “Pop” is broadly defined for the purposes of this project and will be considered in the exegesis in three ways. Firstly, pop will be considered through aspects of the contemporary understanding of popular culture, as this pertains to ideas of mass media communication, specifically celebrity culture and gossip, drawing on the context of late capitalism and the intensification of the form of the commodity. Secondly, pop will be contemplated in relation to the theory and practice of the art historical movement “pop art,” with a particular reference to the work, life and philosophy of Andy Warhol. Finally, the notion of “pop music” as the subject (and methodology) of visual art will be examined, with a focus on two major international exhibitions, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967, curated by Dominic Molon for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, September 29, 2007 to January 6, 2008, and Rock-Paper-Scissors, curated by Diederich Diederichson for iii the Kunsthaus Graz, Vienna, 30 June to 30 August, 2009. These notions of pop provide the framework for speculation regarding the role of pop in respect to the epistemological, communicative and socio-political potential for contemporary art practice, including: the productive implications or effects of the “performative” visual artwork, the connotations for (and) ideologies of spectatorship, and conjecture regarding the highly contingent role or position of the artist. This speculation is supported by examples of contemporary art practice that explicate or illuminate aspects of my own work.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/24837
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords exhibitions, contemporary art, modern art, visual art, pop art, pop music, popular, galleries, Andy Warhol
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