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Olympic Art Review: beyond Rhetoric - conference Report by Dany Louise

Date uploaded: August 1, 2012

Olympic Art Review: beyond Rhetoric
Conference Report by Dany Louise

'Grand projects, like the Olympics, inevitably take place on contested ground. The opportunity for national grandstanding sits uneasily with more human-scale concerns like inclusiveness, local engagement and legacy. Never neutral, they reflect the dominant ideologies, power brokers and anxieties of the era, and London 2012 is no exception.'

These were the core themes discussed at The Olympic Art Review conference - held at Queen Mary, University of London on July 3rd 2012. Chaired by curator Lewis Biggs, it explored the social, cultural and economic agendas behind London 2012’s Art in the Park - looking at the prism of the officially commissioned Art in the (Olympic) Park, and the unregulated art practices taking place in boroughs around the park.

Anish Kapoor's Arcelor Mittal Orbit is receiving most of the media attention, but sits alone as an independently funded project developed by the Mayor of London's office. And there are 40 other art works and participatory projects that have been commissioned in and around the park, led by Sarah Weir, who first became involved when she was director of the Arts Council's London office. Back in 2004, Weir had two members of staff seconded onto the bid team to advocate for, and build in the role of arts and culture, eventually resulting in the creation of an Arts and Culture team within the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Click here for more information and to read the full review.

Olympic art: Anish Kapoor's Arcelor Mittal Orbit is

Olympic art: Anish Kapoor's Arcelor Mittal Orbit is