Rory Harron MRES, MFA, BA English & Politics

Job Title:

PhD Research Student




Along the river
Rory Harron

Along the river


Rory Harron

Exodus: Towards a Non-Identity Art

Supervisors: Dr Ken Neil, Mel Jordan (Loughborough University)

Considering the limitations of effecting real social change from within the field of contemporary art, this research sought to discover an effective artist exit. Instigated from a remote land art practice situated ‘outside of cultural confinement’ (Robert Smithson) and resonating with Paolo Virno’s conception of exodus as a potent political strategy, it addressed the artist exit from society, the institution and the author through critical inquiry, collaborations and recurring negations.

To counter the alienation and identity divisions between artists and non-artists, the research goes on to celebrate the artist exodus from recognised authorship. This exit must consist of a double movement: to avoid slipping into a nihilist vacuum, it must simultaneously affirm an expanded democratic art - wherein exhibitions are open to all to produce and display. Such an art seeks to problematize the artist, curator, critic and collector nexus and further the egalitarian drive through contemporary culture. This thesis shares Walter Benjamin’s call for ‘reader’s to become writers. Following yet against Theodor Adorno’s negative dialectics, I term this a non-identity art; that being an egalitarian art that operates ‘against itself’ (Adorno, 2001: 227).