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'Art Caught in the Crossfire: Conflict and negotiation in contemporary urban spaces'

21st March 2014

KØS Museum of art in public spaces presents the seminar:
Art Caught in Crossfire: Conflict and negotiation in contemporary urban spaces

Copenhagen, 21st March 2014
Arranged by:
KØS Museum of art in public spaces
Venue: The University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 134, Building 22, Auditorium 22.0.11, 2300 Copenhagen S

Contemporary art increasingly enters the urban scene, abandoning the conventional exhibition venues of galleries and museums to take part in everyday life in the city.

The tendency towards abolishing the boundaries separating art, the city, and everyday life prompts an ever-greater variety in the use of media: classic murals, art projects, or monuments no longer necessarily serve as the main role model. Rather, contemporary art helps expand the aesthetic field and to redefine the role of art in the public space.

The seminar Art Caught in Crossfire: Conflict and negotiation in contemporary urban spaces focuses attention on the question of who is targeted by contemporary art in the public space, and on the issue of the effects and affects this causes. The objective behind the seminar is partly to study the expanded spectrum of artistic strategies currently seen on the international contemporary art scene. Another objective is to discuss the concept of the public space itself. The concept does not denote a simple, distinctive, and unified entity, but rather a multivalent field of different, frequently opposing interests that are constantly being negotiated. How art takes part in these friction-filled negotiations and how its new practices affect contemporary urban spaces will be central issues discussed at the seminar.

Art Caught in Crossfire will focus specifically on the notion of the public space as a conflict-filled field of negotiation. The seminar will discuss issues pertaining to power, radical democracy, conflict theory, activism, critical curatorial practices, and art projects that evince social and political commitment. Rather than viewing the public space as a place of harmonious co-existence we shall concentrate on its fundamental friction-filled, power-related issues.

The seminar will cut across theory and practice. Emphasis will be placed on having, to the greatest extent possible, a range of different disciplines and methodic approaches enter into active and dynamic exchanges. For this reason the speakers invited will include academics and curators, educators and artists, and the subjects addressed will draw on a range of disciplines such as philosophy, political theory, art history, curating, and art studies. In this way the seminar will seek to create a multi-faceted forum for discussion that will accommodate differences, friction, and negotiation.

The seminar is aimed at academics within the arts and social sciences. It is also aimed at professionals working at a wide range of knowledge-generating institutions pertaining to art and culture, e.g. museums, exhibition venues, galleries, festivals, and commissioning institutions. The seminar will also be relevant to urban developers and to employees within state and local authority organisations who wish to explore the potential that art in public spaces represents. Last, but by no means least, the seminar is aimed at practitioners within the areas art, culture, political activism, architecture, and urban development.

The present seminar is based on the research project Art in public spaces – Conflict and negotiation as critical spatial practices and is arranged by PhD fellow Sabine Nielsen in collaboration with KØS museum of art in public spaces. KØS is Denmark’s state-recognised specialist museum for art in public spaces. The museum has the task of collecting, registering, preserving, studying, and presenting art located in public spaces

10.00 - 10.30: Enrolment, coffee
10.30 – 10.45: Welcome. Speaker: Christine Buhl Andersen, museum director of KØS Museum of art in public spaces
10.45 – 11.15: Introductory presentation by Sabine Nielsen, PhD fellow with KØS Museum of art in public spaces and the University of Copenhagen
11.15 – 11.45: Talk by Chantal Mouffe, Professor with the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster in London
11.45 – 12.15: Talk by Andrea Phillips, Reader in Fine Art in the Department of Art and Director of the Doctoral Research Programmes in Fine Art and Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London, and Curator of the Public Programme, Istanbul Biennial 2013.
12.15-12.30: Question time
12.30 – 13.30: Lunch
13.30 – 14.00: Talk by Nora Sternfeld, freelance curator and professor of curatorial practice, Aalto University, Helsinki
14.00 – 14.30: Talk by Janna Graham, project curator with the Serpentine Gallery in London and member of the activist artists’ group Ultra Red
14.30 – 14.45: Question time
14.45 – 15.15: Coffee break
15.15 – 15.45: Talk by artist duo VRIZA
15.45 – 16.15: Talk by artist Jens Haaning
16.15 – 16.30: Question time
16.30 - 17.00: Panel discussion/summing up
17.00 – 18.00: Reception (wine and snacks)

Deadline for signup: 10th March 2014

Click here for more information and to register.

Jens Haaning, Durriya Kazi and others by the realization of the work, 'Redistribution (London-Karachi)', 2003. Courtesy of D+T Project Gallery, Brussels.

Jens Haaning, Durriya Kazi and others by the realization of the work, 'Redistribution (London-Karachi)', 2003. Courtesy of D+T Project Gallery, Brussels.