Dates: 1990-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Gillian Wearing, Liam Gillick

The French curator Nicholas Bourriaud published a book called Relational Aesthetics in 1998 in which he described the term as meaning ‘a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.’ He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world. Bourriaud cited the art of Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon and Liam Gillick as artists who work to this agenda.

“Relational Aesthetics.” 12 March 2010. <>

Gillian Wearing

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