Art & The Public Sphere 8.1 invites papers for a Special Issue entitled 50 Years on – the legacy of ’68. Click here for the full CfP

Art & the Public Sphere provides a new platform for academics, artists, curators, art historians and theorists whose working practices are broadly concerned with contemporary art’s relation to the public sphere. APS aims to establish a critical relationship to traditional and conventional debates about public art and art in the public sector and the public realm. The double-blind peer-reviewed journal presents a crucial examination of contemporary art’s link to the public realm, offering an engaged and responsive forum in which to debate the newly emerging series of developments within contemporary thinking, society and international art practice.

To reflect on the 50th anniversary of the various sociopolitical actions of 1968, this special issue of Art & the Public Sphere (to be published Spring 2019) considers this cultural tipping point and asks what we can learn from these events, and what, if any, enduring legacy they have on the social and political processes they sought to shift. For example, how have groups like the Situationists, or specifically Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, influenced the artistic and activist imagination, through inspiration or by tangible effects such as the use of tactics like detournement and derive? It also considers what resonance 1968 has for contemporary political movements, how ‘the public’ engages with political process in current scenarios, and the extent to which popular protest, performative intervention and the public sphere are intertwined today. It also examines how civic and political change come about. What difference does protest make, and how does it get performed in specific political contexts?

Proposals are invited to the following themes, but not limited to:

  • The legacy of the actions of 1968 for contemporary artistic (activist or protest art) movements
  • 1968 and the revival of the historical avant-garde, what does this mean for art and politics in 2018–19?
  • Specific instances of political and performative demonstration in 1968 and/or in contemporary contexts.
  • Contemporary art’s connection to the changing nature of the public sphere, in an age of social media and a ‘post-truth’ environment.
  • Notions of radicalism, resistance, revolution and civic/social transformation through artistic intervention
  • Considerations of political frameworks (social democracy, authoritarianism, neoliberalism) and their relationship to contemporary art
  • Trajectories of performance in relation to cultural and political transaction.
  • Implications of re-accessing protest memory through conserving and exhibiting of protest artefacts and media re-circulation
  • The role of art practice in materializing and sustaining protest memory

Submission deadline: 1 October 2018

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