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UAL Research Online

Fugitive Materials

Greenhill, Joanna (2005) Fugitive Materials. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Greenhill, Joanna

'Fugitive Materials' was a 3-part investigation that substantively explores the use, politics and meanings of employing transient materials in contemporary art. In association with Tate Modern, I curated this investigation, taking three distinct perspectives on transience; the record of the investigation, which included invited speakers, is now held in the Tate archives.

In part 1 , coinciding with Tate’s exhibition of the work of Beuys, issues of authorship, decay, ephemerality, materiality, the status of the art object and time were examined. Taking the form of a seminar, investigation focused on how the transient materiality of Beuys’ artworks brings additional meanings to their interpretation. It also questioned the amount of change that can be tolerated before the art object becomes a relic, engendering a sense of loss, and simultaneously opening up debates around the politics of conservation.

In the second part, through a conversation with Giuseppe Penone, attention focused on depicting traces of bodily activity, touch, the human and nature, and navigation through space. Penone discussed his sculptures, drawings and installations with artist and curator Jon Thompson in front of his 'Tree of 12 Metres 1980-2'.

In the final part, attention moved onto artistic and scientific practices, uses of new materials by designers and architects and addressing the potential that new impermanent materials might have for contemporary artists.

As well as curating this third event I presented a paper that investigated contingency through the history of art’s use of transient materials, the influence of conceptual art on the choice of materials today, and the question of documentation.

Official Website: http://www.tate.org.uk/onlineevents/archive/
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Joanna Greenhill

Research Interests


Current Research

My research practice is an investigation of the act of repetition. This is researched through mainly objects and drawings and more recently video and photographic works. My background is in sculpture and the use of objects and materials remains a fundamental influence in my work. The repetitive act is used as a means of revealing and connecting conscious and unconscious thoughts. These thoughts become evident as sound and text works which can co-exist with objects also made through repetitive processes. A current interest is investigating ways of materializing/de-materializing presence and the place of memory in the work of art. These interests have re-introduced an interest from my research degree work in impermanent materials and the role of transience in art. I am currently exploring the implications of transient work and how artists engage with process in the ongoing project Fugitive Materials which was launched at Tate Modern in 2005.

As well as exhibiting individually, I collaborated with other practitioners/writers to make the book Speaking and Making which looks at foregrounding the making of art as research in its own right - the practice of art as a mode of analysis. This approach is particularly suitable for the processes of making that I use.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 April 2005
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:39
Last Modified: 13 May 2010 13:11
Item ID: 1120
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1120

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