Art & Art History
Voices: Miwon Kwon
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street
Site-specificity used to imply something heavy weighted down by gravity. Obstinate. Even if ephemeral, an artwork of such inclination clung to and was positioned in relation to the seemingly stable surfaces of architecture. As a counter-pull against the transient circulation of artworks as a consumer goods, insistence on site-specificity was an attempt to tie the work down from the free flight of commodification. Site-specificity has also gradually come to be a synonym for, and a definition of, community-based public art. This is clearly evident not only in the conceptual framework and methodology of many contemporary artists but also in public arts programming. That these developments are gaining momentum in the midst of growing threats to government funding for the arts and simultaneously at a time of major redirection of private institutional funding from the arts to socially oriented programming may be seen as one means through which arts and arts organizations are trying to survive the current state of economic conservatism.
Miwon Kwon earned a BA in architecture and an MFA in photography from University of California, Berkeley; she is pursuing a PhD in architectural history and theory at Princeton University.