Collaboration for the Improvement of Tolerance: Artistic Practice in a Societal Context

By Ulrika Florin, Inger Orre and Yvonne Eriksson.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: April 22, 2016 $US5.00

This study is carried out in connection with The Living History Forum (LHF), a Swedish public authority that uses the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity as a starting point for exhibitions and other activities focused on tolerance, democracy and human rights. The case study concerns a project in which artists were asked to read the report The Many Faces of Intolerance as an inspiration for their own creative power (Löwander and Lange 2010). The explicit idea from the assigner LHF was to create—through art installations—a stimulating environment for reflection, discussion and learning. The interaction between the visitors and the suggested art pieces was in focus.
The purpose of this study is to look into artists’ ability to reflect upon and mediate perspectives and messages in a collaborative process. Practice-based research, with a focus on exploring, elucidating and benefitting practical experiences from the investigated area, is our methodological starting point. In terms of theory, the research field draws upon an understanding of ancient philosophy developed by, among others, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum. The thoughts originate from Aristotle's analysis of the different aspects of knowledge, with the concepts techne (practical-producing) and phronesis. Phronesis is the Aristotelian concept that combines the capabilities of thinking ethically and considering actions that can deliver desired effects. This study demonstrates that it is crucial that the assigner have the patience and ability to accept (and even encourage) some uncertainties during the process. The reason for that is to gain the often implicit and not pre-formulated practical knowledge of the artists.

Keywords: Practical Knowledge, Collaborative Project, Artistry, Museology, Reflection

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 11, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.11-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: April 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.482MB)).

Dr. Ulrika Florin

PhD, Lecturer, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Division of Information Design and Visualization, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden

Prof. Inger Orre

Associate Professor, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Division of Information Design and Visualization, Malardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden

Prof. Yvonne Eriksson

Professor and Dean, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. Division of Information Design and Visualization, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden