The Art of Public Space

Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City

by

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781137436894
  • 9781137436900
Is there something compelling that a series of cutting-edge art interventions exploring public space in Johannesburg can tell us about cities, imagination and the public sphere? Kim Gurney reflects upon New Imaginaries to explore the connection: curated through walking and the poetics of migration; via gaming, punk technologies and play; and performance art activating transport lines. The projects link city space to the public sphere to render otherwise illegible urban forms and flows. In so doing, they suggest public space as common space instead, public art towards an art of the commons. This musically inflected book includes a snapshot of recent performance art in central Johannesburg, a silo-breaking chapter on artists and uncertainty and a closing track to place the author in situ. The account ultimately positions itself as a public policy riposte in favour of economic invisibility- that art counts even when it cannot be counted.
  • Palgrave Macmillan; July 2015
  • ISBN 9781137436900
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Art of Public Space
  • Author: Kim Gurney
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781137436894
  • 9781137436900

In The Press

"Regimes of segregation and inequality leave rigid marks on urban space that are difficult to undo. In this book, Kim Gurney analyzes a series of artistic interventions in the spaces of Johannesburg that challenged those marks. She masterfully shows how performances conceived in the spaces of the ordinary worked to undo rigidities of spatial separations and to forge alternative publics." - Teresa Caldeira, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"The Art of Public Space powerfully reiterates the ways in which urban actors do not inhabit worlds of preconceived social or subjective forms, but rather ever-shifting milieus where different ways of conceiving and enacting life intersect, and that artistic practice is a critical technology in re-imagining and reshaping these intersections. All technical practices conduct events, but artistic work is proving most salient in opening up urban contexts to events that anticipate and posit new ways of living together. Leveraging the multiplicity of performances that make up everyday Johannesburg, the artistic projects offered here attempt to reconfigure what its residents already see and experience but in ways that push it somewhere else, which collate and intensify these perceptions and experiences into new common grounds." - AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, and Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK

About The Author

Kim Gurney is a research associate at the African Centre for Cities (ACC), University of Cape Town, where this book project has its home, as well as Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD) Research Centre, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a multidisciplinary practitioner variously engaged in visual art, research and writing.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781137436894
  • 9781137436900