Objects as Social Practice

A residency at The Field Murwillumbah with Grace Dewar for PUBLIC PALACE 

Objects as Social Practice (OASP) is a situation-led collaborative project by Australian artist-curators, Laurie Oxenford and Grace Dewar. Navigating a shared aesthetic through found objects, OASP prioritises intuitive acts of selection, chance and interaction as a way to understand personal desires and to interrogate the everyday.

Developed over a two-week residency at The Field, Murwillumbah (15-28 February 2021), OASP considers shared actions as ‘attempts’. This structure positions all outcomes as valid and allows for continuous experimentation. Taking its departure from Robert Morris’ process work ‘Continuous Project Altered Daily’ 1969, OASP is regularly rearranged and documented, with objects repeatedly introduced and removed; often adapted in response to the previous iteration. In this way, the work restructures the potentials of curation and offers the duo deeper relations to the objects and space.

Framing their work as new genre spatial practice, OASP borrows methodologies from other urban practices such as construction, architecture, graffiti and interventionism to engage with existing structures in new ways. OASP engages chance through quasi-performative actions of resource recovery (object selection) and curation (object installation). Objects are reclaimed from the urban environment i.e. waste recycling centres, a motel clearance sale, abandoned sites. The selection process considers aesthetics, the value embedded in objects and how we experience public space. OASP offers different ways of being, seeing and understanding the world to challenge hegemonic ideologies; encouraging an unlearning of passive participation and welcoming small acts of resistance.

The Field ARI, M|Arts Precinct
1 Brisbane St, Murwillumbah NSW

Photography: Mitch Schultz, Laurie Oxenford. & Grace Dewar.