Ingrid Swenson is the director of PEER, London. She has established the organisation as a highly acclaimed small-scale arts organisation that presents the highest quality artwork to the local community of Hoxton both through its gallery exhibitions as well as in its offsite projects.
Within the broader context of PEER’s programme and organisational objectives, I want to interrogate what is meant by socially engaged practice.
• Does this term suggest that the artist, curator or arts organisation has some kind of social responsibility in the work that they make, present or advocate?
• What does a socially engaged practice look like? Is it an art whose subject matter is determined by politics, economics, or issues around equality, diversity, race and class?
• Is socially engaged practice – by definition – moral and ethical? If so, can these determinants take precedence over the art itself?
photo credits: Andy Ford & Beth Emily Richards