Socially Engaged Art and the Neoliberal City: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Socially Engaged Art and the Neoliberal City

1st Edition

By Cecilie Sachs Olsen


206 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138343399
pub: 2019-01-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429439162
pub: 2019-01-10
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What are the social functions of art in the age of neoliberal urbanism? This book discusses the potential of artistic practices to question the nature of city environments and the diverse productions of space, moving beyond the reduction of ‘the urban’ as a set of existing and static structures. Adopting a practice-led approach, each chapter discusses case studies from across the world, reflecting on personal experiences as well as the work of other artists. While exposing the increasingly limiting constraints placed on public and socially engaged art by the dominance of commercial funding and neoliberal frameworks, the author stays optimistic about the potential of artistic practices to transcend neoliberal logics through alternative productions of space. Drawing upon a Lefebvrian framework of spatial practice and using a structuralist approach to challenge neoliberal structures, the book draws links between art, resistance, criticism, democracy, and political change.

The book concludes by looking at how we might create a new course for socially engaged art within the neoliberal city. It will be of great interest to researchers in urban studies, urban geography, and architecture, as well as students who want to learn more about place-making, visual culture, performance theory, applied practice, and urban culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Producing Urban Imaginaries in Socially Engaged Art PART I Problematizing Socially Engaged Art 1. Criticisms, Reimaginings, Collaborations 2. Resistance, Participation, Politics PART II Meaning-Making: The Reciprocal Relation Between the Material Environment and Social Practices 3. Promoting New Ways of Being in the City 4. Mobilizing Communities PART III Participatory Processes: Critically Engaging with Urban Space in Socially Engaged Art 5. Contesting the City as a Natural Urban Order 6. (Re)inventing Urban Democratic Practices PART IV Representative Frames: Constituting Identities and Issues in Socially Engaged Art 7. stadtARCHIV: The Invited Space and the Logic of the Institution 8. Montopia: Collaborative Inventions and Antagonistic Encounters 9. St. Clement’s Utopolis: A Crisis of Identity – Art or Social Work? Conclusion: Creating a New Course for Socially Engaged Art Within the Neoliberal City

About the Author

Cecilie Sachs Olsen is a British Academy Post Doctoral Researcher at Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Urbanism and the City

The Routledge Critical Studies in Urbanism and the City Series offers a forum for cutting-edge and original research that explores different aspects of the city. Titles within this series critically engage with, question, and challenge, contemporary theory and concepts to extent current debates and pave the way for new critical perspectives on the city. This series explores a range of social, political, economic, cultural and spatial concepts, offering innovative and vibrant contributions, international perspectives, and interdisciplinary engagements with the city from across the social sciences and humanities. It will appeal to upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as scholars, working in urban studies, planning, geography, geohumanities, sociology, politics, the arts, cultural studies, popular culture, philosophy and literature.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography