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Watch ‘Friction’ – a new short animation about the role of the artist in society



Black background with hand drawn hand pointing at each other holding brass weighing scales

The Centre for Cultural Value has published a new research digest, The Role of the Artist in Society, exploring the current evidence base about artists working in socially engaged practices, the value of this work and the funding structures in place.

Earlier this year, we commissioned artist Rebecca Farkas to create an artistic response to the research digest’s main themes. The final piece, a 3-minute animation, Friction, draws upon the tension, ambiguity and binaries of the many roles of the artist in society.

Rebecca says:

Artists work within communities, in education and as activists, while funding structures are mostly based on the short-term and do not put artists needs first, often resulting in inequalities.

I wanted to draw out some of the themes of the report, responding particularly to the idea of tension and using visuals that are playful and colourful, reflecting the many faces of being an artist and the realities of how the art world is structured.

I used both found and hand-drawn imagery, continuing an exploration of the animated ‘still life’ that has seen me look at the Memento Mori art tradition for the past few years. My work responds to people, stories and memory, and it felt important to delve into the experience of artists to make Friction.

Rebecca transforms objects and spaces, creating animations, videos, photographs, drawings and projections. Her work responds to places, people, their stories and memories, often in site-specific, temporary installations that seek to create a sense of wonder.

Rebecca responded to an open call from the Centre to provide an artistic response to our new research digest. Her work offers a new perspective on the key findings and emerging evidence from this rapid research review.

Discover more and download the research digest

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