The representation of the ‘work of art’ has often gone hand in hand with the reception of the artist himself. The way the artist socializes, communicates, dresses, speaks, thinks and behaves has influenced the work and its function within the market. Hence that most artists shy away from talking about daily chores and the struggle of making ends meet. The flipside of the artist’s practice (the maintenance of family life, for example) demystifies the aura of the artist and therefore questions the authenticity of his or her work. The research depicts the responsibility of the artist in society by taking one specific practice, mainly from American artist Ben Kinmont (b. 1963), at the core of interest as it encompasses a wide range of complexities around the paradox of production and presentation. One could say that Kinmont’s practice can be viewed as a source that shares and fuels the complexity of the artist as a social, political and simultaneously autonomous figure within society; one that pushes the boundaries of the ‘personal’ and the ‘formal’ through negotiating the borders of artistic labour and other value structures. The core work of Kinmont on which the research is based is called On becoming something else. The project continues his consideration of recipes and the representation of food as a subject to the production of art by discussing artists who had pursued an art practice, which eventually led them outside of the art system by working around notions of farming, social work, activism, yoga, politics, medicine, and psychotherapy.
As course director of a Master of Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute, Krist Gruijthuijsen is constantly in dialogue with artists and their development as human beings, therefore questioning the urgencies and necessities of their artistic production. The research has thus far resulted in exhibitions, lectures and publications.