Fiona Connor:
A community announcement

US-based New Zealand artist Fiona Connor’s work records the ephemera of the vibrant communities she encounters.

feature by DANIEL BOETKER-SMITH

The language of Fiona Connor’s series ‘Community Notice Board’ is instantly recognisable; we inherently know how these (analogue) message boards operate and we are familiar with the types of spaces in which they exist: in school or church halls, post offices and sporting clubs. This series is just the latest by Connor in an ongoing practice she describes as “thinking about how I, as an artist, can remove myself from an artwork and allow the work to be determined by its community”. Originally from New Zealand, Connor has been based in Los Angeles for a number of years, and her creative production often emerges from detailed studies of objects that exist in the real world. As such, her work references anthropological and social research, and the intricately described objects she methodically and exactingly creates explore the lived history of these specific contemporary public and private sites. “I am interested in the boundaries between art and life, and the way things have been marked by use,” she tells me at the outset of our conversation.

It’s true to say that this communal and physical mode of transmitting information belongs firmly in the past, but somehow noticeboards still endure regardless of their newer digital incarnations – forums, Facebook groups, and online message boards. In a world of overwhelming digital chat these ‘real’ spaces of sharing thrive, and are, occasionally, the central point of communal spaces around which everyday life circles and oscillates.

In the upcoming Institute of Modern Art exhibition...
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