Notes from ‘A Politicized Art’

A Politicized Art – one day symposium
Loughborough University School of Art & Design
Wednesday 19 November 2008

Towards the formation of a critical counter public sphere: A one-day symposium to explore the relationship between art practice and the public sphere.

In the debased public sphere of the mass media, public opinion is administered, monitored, managed and manufactured by the private interests of big business, including the private interests of the owners of global media companies and the commercial interests of advertisers and sponsors.

Critical art is emancipatory, dialogical and dissenting. It is recalcitrant and unmanageable. A critical art is a politicized art and therefore concerned with the current condition of liberal democracy; this symposium asks how can critical art practices bring their autonomy to bear upon a debased public sphere and enable the formation of a critical counter public sphere?

Speakers: Malcolm Barnard, Freee Art Collective, Andrew Hunt, Marysia Lewandowska, Jim McGuigan, Malcolm Miles and Simon Sheikh.

Jim McGuigan
– The Cultural Public Sphere: Critical Measure of Public Culture?

Jurgen Habermas, ‘Between Facts and Forms’ (1996), p381

‘Media plays to the politics of the day’

Malcolm MilesArt as a Public Sphere (Now and Then)

Samuel Becket, ‘Endgame’

Public space/realm/sphere

Aesthetic       —-    Social

Art        —-    Dissent

‘Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home’, (IAPDH), Liverpool

Royal Standard – Future Visions, Liverpool

Use of art in the public space/realm masks the other problems with regeneration, i.e., the depression of the minority through the controlling of them via the design of the public space/realm/sphere

Capitalism is nothing and unworkable without the very people it aims to exclude.
Art is nothing and unworkable without the very people it aims to exclude.

J Robertson, & F Jameson, ‘Post Modernism, Politics & Art’

Freee Art Collective ( Beech, Hewitt and Jordan) – A Politicized Art
–    Slogan and Reimbodiement
Take a position and divide opinion

–    Dissemination
Call Forth Collaborators

–    Contexts
Challenge Hegemony

Malcolm BarnardFashion: Public and Private
Words for Private – Idios – Greek
– Idiom – Latin (?)

Words for Publlc – Hubris
– Publicus

Different language interpretation of works
Jacques Derrida – idiomatic writing
Ludwig Wittengstein – ideas on language – private/public

Jean-Jacques Rousseau –     Bommell     –     Adolf Loos
C18                                                 C19                       C20

Marysia LewandowskaSocial Cinema
London, Architectural Biennial, 2006
Projections, screens, cinemas placed around London – onto private housing, a housing estate, opposite Tate Modern.

This is Tomorrow’, Whitechapel, 1956

Use of archive material
Simon SheikhManufacturing Dissent
B-books – collection of essays, Autumn 08

3rd generation of institutional critique use it to ‘defend’ museums/ organizations

2nd generation to try and overthrow

1st generation to criticize

Critical              —-           Political

Criticism as a critic and as a celebration.

Fluxus was used to put forward a political point of view yet was not all of the artists theoretical practice. Their work was politicized yet not political

Noam Chomsky, ‘Political Economy of the Mass Media

Erosion of autonomy

Bourgeois public sphere
Corporate public sphere

Andrew HuntRegional Curating as a Counter-Public Sphere

Amateur and the Idiot

Regional as an opposite to the centre – a marginal place

Affirmative critique and antagonism.

Affirmation         vs        Politics

Mark MacGowan

Plastique Fantastique

John Russell

Wow Wow

Focal Gallery, Southend

‘Critical of Political Critical


One response to “Notes from ‘A Politicized Art’

  1. Hi there

    Thanks for coming to conference and taking notes! I can’t remember much!



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