Euyoung Hong

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Euyoung Hong's MPhil/PhD Art research project

Constructing an invisible territory: an investigation of the production of the sculptural in relation to urban development since the 1980s

In the current field of art, sculpture is broadly defined to include various concepts of minimalism, conceptualism and performance. This definition is in the process of change. Despite its expansion, sculpture – or what I call the sculptural – is less focused, affirmatively responding to its site or its environment. This thesis expands on and experiments with the current understanding of sculpture, moving towards a new concept of the sculptural. To achieve this, it focuses on the concept of space and its role in the production of the sculptural from a multidimensional perspective, where a particular work of art, theory and concept is reinterpreted and dislocated in terms of the political dynamism of space.

By reconsidering Rosalind Krauss’ theory of the relationship between sculpture and the expanded field, this thesis explores ways in which the sculptural is produced by and influences its surroundings in the complex mechanism of space. Furthermore, it rediscovers the object’s territory in particular relation to political concepts, by exploring the production of a sculptural work in the shifting relationship between object, space and spectator. It focuses on the dialectical relationship between dwelling space and transit space, and proposes a new sculptural strategy for the transformation from the traditional concept of installation (art) to an expanded idea of installation.

The sculptural elucidates changing ideas of the urban, particularly focusing on the relationship between the production of urban space and the logic of capital. Drawing on David Harvey’s theory of neoliberalism, this thesis investigates the politics of urban centrality and its crucial role in the current trend from planned to produced urbanism. Through its dynamic relationship with the urban, the sculptural engenders and demonstrates certain notions about the world or the urban, finding means to construct an urban aesthetic, to practise urbanism; in this process, the site or the environment becomes non-environmental or sculptural.