Sonya Russell-Saunders is a curator and researcher.
She is currently examining sociological theory using multi-disciplinary art forms to create situation specific curated performances and exhibitions.
She is interested in an experimental and collaborative process, working with artists and performers to expand and examine curatorial practice, the role of the curator, the role of the artist and the role of the audience within contemporary art.
Within this is an over-arching investigation into ‘performativity’ what that means in terms of live art, audience participation and performative curatorial practice, distinct from traditional curation.
Working with sociological theory (Goffman, Durkheim, Mauss and recently Prof Jeffrey Alexander), she designs and stage situations where the audience are central to the performance and exhibition.
The resultant meta or third art work (being the sum of all the participants, performers, dancers, sound artists, film makers and audience) is within a space where the concept (i.e. the sociological theory) is completely embedded in the exhibition and performance space design. No part of the staging is superfluous, every item is carefully chosen for its conceptual content.
These factors all aim to heighten audience experience, to reduce complacency in experiencing art, increasing awareness of their situation, their surroundings, their own behaviours