Grousdanidou, Antonia (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The objective of this thesis is to reconstruct and analyse the space(s) that Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, occupied and produced in its first two decades of existence, from its artist-led inception in 1963 until ca.1978. With the writings of philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre on space, contradiction, the creative act and everyday life constituting the critical underpinning, Ikon's locations in the city, its interiors and other spatial aspects, which may be less easily identifiable as such, are examined and compared in relation to the spatio-cultural context of Birmingham during postwar redevelopment. By mapping the complex interrelations between the local and wider art establishments, art-historical discourse and urban planning, the aim is to explore their implications for the past and present of Ikon as a contemporary art institution. Ikon is posited as a gesture, a creative act concretely executed in space upon its inception, shifting to a gallery ideologically closer to the establishment it was originally opposing.
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