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A Gallery of Culture in Our Times: Julia Peyton-Jones and the Serpentine Pavilions

Jenkins-Bricel, Terry (2014) A Gallery of Culture in Our Times: Julia Peyton-Jones and the Serpentine Pavilions. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Jenkins-Bricel, Terry

This essay interrogates the strategies and philosophies of Julia Peyton-Jones, the Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, England and creator of the Serpentine Pavilion exhibition, to examine how the ideas and operations of spectacle in the contemporary art world can act as constructive social devices. Leftist and postmodern theorists have long interpreted spectacle negatively because of its associations with advanced capitalism and hyper-consumerism. This research offers an alternative interpretation of the spectacular. It identifies the remarkable and the astonishing as qualities of the spectacle, and argues that these effects benefit society in the context of the cultural realm.
This paper foregrounds Peyton-Jones’ methods as a cultural agent and examines her strategic use of spectacle to actualize her altruistic culture agenda. The interest here is how Peyton-Jones uses the idea and power of spectacle to promote contemporary architecture. The 2013 pavilion by Sou Fujimoto is used as the case study for considering the role of the spectacle here. Fujimoto’s pavilion was constructed as a latticework of slender white steel rods forming an asymmetrical ring. Deemed a digital cloud, it was experienced as aesthetically nebulous and ethereal. The physical structure, the circumstances of its conception and its realization can be read as a material embodiment of contemporary cultural production and the art world in which it circulates and is assessed. This research repositions the idea of the spectacle in culture to show that it is a productive force in the world of contemporary art.

Date: April 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Julia Peyton-Jones, Serpentine Galleries, London, contemporary art, constructive social devices, Leftist, postmodern theorists, spectacle hyper-consumerism
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2014 18:46
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 00:45
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/165

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