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The New Public Art: Collectivity and Activism in Mexico since the 1980s

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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Mexico has long been lauded and studied for its post-revolutionary public art, but recent artistic practices have raised questions about how public art is created and for whom it is intended. In The New Public Art, Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra, together with a number of scholars, artists, and activists, looks at the rise of community-focused art projects, from collective cinema to off-stage dance and theatre, and the creation of anti-monuments that have redefined what public art is and how people have engaged with it across the country since the 1980s.

The New Public Art investigates the reemergence of collective practices in response to privatization, individualism, and alienating violence. Focusing on the intersection of art, politics, and notions of public participation and belonging, contributors argue that a new, non-state-led understanding of "the public" came into being in Mexico between the mid-1980s and the late 2010s. During this period, community-based public art bore witness to the human costs of abuses of state and economic power while proposing alternative forms of artistic creation, activism, and cultural organization.

Book launch and panel discussion with Claire Linsey (UCL), David Wood (UCL/UNAM), Carlos Fonseca (University of Cambridge), and the book's editor Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra (Birkbeck).

Event sponsored by CILAVS, Birkbeck.


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