The artist Nathalie De Brie once referred to my practice as 'Fearless'. The writer Marjorie Celona once said: ‘Anthony, you have a lot of ideas. Not all of them are good.’
My work is research-led, and I see the processes of collaborative engagement as the core value of the work, rather than the production of "art objects". As such, any project I do is site- and context-specific, and am deeply concerned with the position of audiences, both as collaborators and as viewers. See visit my impossibly outdated website for more ridiculous projects: anthonyschrag.com
I am currently undertaking a PhD at Newcastle university exploring the relationship between policy, public art and conflict. Visit here for more details on that strange project: conflictsocialconflict.wordpress.com/
Generally, in my work, I often use strategies of ‘play’ as I believe it is an integral way of developing new knowledge and also allows access to a wide audience group, as it employs humour, physicality and risk, and most importantly, it does not entirely rely in the aesthetic judgements: I am interested in developing collective narratives, developing new knowledge and asking questions which encourages communities, groups or individuals to explore their place within the world.
I have always been interested in the phenomenological, and my practice focuses the physical sensations of the body at the core, as opposed to intellectual or emotional considerations. The work often takes the form of solo performances, interactive installations, publications, interventions, sculptures as well as a variety of other strategies to explore these notions. I look to subvert social, political or emotional situations by altering physical expectations with the hope that an alternate reading of a corporeal experience will give birth to new meanings or new knowledge or shifts in perception.
When working this way, I am aiming to return the body to the locus of the art experience, rather than any abstracted notions that rely so heavily on training, culture, class and education. I am not interested in representation or pretence – I am looking to reach a unmediated, honest and shared experience. The impulse for this type of work comes from an interest in theories related to socially engaged practices and inviting a wide spectrum of the public into a shared, cultural debate. Some of my ridiculous projects have included falling walls, sticky floors, firing myself out of giant catapults, kidnapping city councillors, climbing buildings and blowing things up.