Art and Life

Payaal Patel
Wilfredo Prieto,  Walk, 2000

To define Art and Life, It must be considered how each word stands alone. And then where the two intersect or rather interact.

Life is context, it is today, community, a society of the spectacle and it is lived experience. We are always subject to the forces of the commercial, information overload and consumerism obsessed, this has become our ordinary.

The situationists. Guy Debord's 1957 Psychogeographique de Paris. Speech on the passions of Love.

Art, specifically Participatory Art is when there is an intention into the exploration of human behaviour in reaction to this ordinary being uncovered as the unordinary. It must disobey that of the spectacle, it must disrupt our day to day thought patterns and habits. It is a witness statement.

Allan Kaprow, Yard, 1961. A key artist in coining Happenings

Furthermore, in line with Claire Bishop, participatory art must have sociability and it should work within its immediate context.

Participatory Art therefore, epitomises the parallels between art and life. Examples of this is, the situationists, the happenings movement, task by Oliver Herring and Walk by Wilfredo Prieto, which I will specifically focus on.In Walk, WIlfredo Prieto walks five kilometres with a ornamental plant in a wheelbarrow. Art and Life is emphasised here because it is a performance that quietly defies that of the spectacle.

Oliver Herring's Task.

Prieto states, ‘I believe to happen on a piece rather than create it’ and ‘our brain store what is out of the ordinary’. This resonates with the parallels between art and life because it suggests spontaneity, you don’t choose to participate or not, a prominent feature of life. You the participant are mildly startled into reflecting its meaning and for the briefest of seconds you are pulled out of your thoughts to consider the unordinary, you become attuned to your surroundings, you go from the I to the collective. Art and Life is that which seeks to move from passive of our daily lives to the active.

 Wilfredo Prieto,  Walk, 2000