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Situations Programme

Situations is an art commissioning and research programme based at the University of the West of England, Bristol. We produce artworks for places outside conventional art contexts such as galleries and museums. The programme was initiated in October 2003 by Claire Doherty, who is Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of the West of England, Bristol. From the start, the programme’s guiding principles were to combine the ambition of a commissioning agency model with the critical rigiour of an academic research centre.

From 2003-5 we produced five newly commissioned projects as part of a scattered-site exhibition around Bristol City Centre (Thinking of the Outside), 21 lectures, a conference (The Wrong Place) and publication (From Studio to Situation).

After the first two pilot years, we established a continuous programme of parallel strands of activity, ranging from one-off artistic interventions and public events, large-scale permanent public art programmes and strategies, professional development seminars, talks and discussions about commissioning and curating public art, and cumulative curatorial programmes of newly commissioned work. Part of the PLaCE Research Centre in the Faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol, Situationsnow operates as a commissioning programme internationally, working with partners in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the UK. The programme has been designed to adapt and respond to new ideas and opportunities, whether a slow burning evolving idea which is given the space to find its most vibrant form, or an experimental, fleeting intervention which challenges conventional assumptions about the permanency of public art.

To find out more about Situations and to take advantage of our growing research resource where you can download specially commissioned texts about our projects and search our bibliography visit www.situations.org.uk

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