The reconfiguration of publics and spaces through art: strategies of agitation and amelioration

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Across the world, public spaces are undergoing profound transformations, in tandem with the pluralization processes resulting from several decades of intensified global migration. The aim of this article is to provide some overarching perspectives on the topic of this special issue by
examining how artistic and curatorial modes of address contribute to the creation of new public spaces and new forms of publics and assemblies attuned to today’s culturally pluralized and transnationally interconnected societies. The first part outlines how the various roles of art in public spaces (broadly understood) have been defined and evaluated by influential theorists.
This account also prepares the way for the focus of the subsequent parts on art’s capacity to intervene into, or alternatively negotiate, social conflicts, and on how this change has gone hand in hand with an increasing artistic and curatorial use of participatory strategies. We then move on to critically discuss this “participatory turn” and explore, by way of a case study of the Maxim Gorki Theatre’s 4. Berliner Herbstsalon (2019), how such practices may permit public
spaces to serve as sites of contestation where hegemonic structures and practices are confronted and new forms of collective identification may emerge. We also introduce the concept of postmigrant public spaces to more accurately describe the conflict-negotiating and coalition-building role that art is increasingly called upon to fulfil in the public spaces of today’s culturally
diverse “societies of negotiation” (Foroutan).
TidsskriftJournal of Aesthetics & Culture
Sider (fra-til)1-15
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - kunst i offentlige rum, radikalt demokrati, deltagelse, postmigration, Tilhørsforhold, konflikt og æstetik, samtidskunst, kuratering

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