Activity: Academic Talks or Presentations › Symposium › Research
How can artists and artists’ collectives best navigate the passage from our current neoliberalized art landscape to a radically democratic one? Organised in collaboration with Dr Emma Mahony, NCAD; this seminar focusses on the gradual de-politicization of public art spheres, by neoliberal values and practices. Freee Art Collective's remit is to transform and democratize art by subverting its debased institutions. Such a strategy relies on the political activation of the public against the state, which they aim to achieve by publishing their dissensual opinions in the public domain and encouraging others to follow suit. Their publishing predominately takes the form of sloganeering on bill board posters and, in so doing, they target one of the main ways that capitalism reproduces itself: through the medium of advertising. It is Freee’s goal to reclaim advertising as a medium for the public sphere by becoming guerilla advertisers and encouraging others to do likewise. As such, they consider sloganeering to be a vital tool insofar as it allows them to highlight issues that the neoliberal order attempts to obfuscate, and to make propositions for another social reality. Although Freee declare that ‘We are not protest artists. We do not make activist art’, they nonetheless envisage the political actions they stage within the art field contributing towards social and political change, specifically a gradual move towards a Twenty-First-Century Socialism. This contemporary iteration of socialism is structured around a participative and protagonistic model of democracy which requires the gradual democratization of all elements of society spanning from the economy, to labour, to culture. Within this broader political framework, Freee’s long-term goal is to realize what they call a ‘Twenty-First-Century Political Art’ – an art that is radically democratic. As such, Freee interpret their political artistic practice as playing a formative part in this greater social goal, particularly in its ability to propose radical visions for how society could be.
16 Oct 2016
Beyond Art Activism: Rewriting Arts Neoliberal Value System