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Free Content Performative tactics and the choreographic reinvention of public space

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Recently a multitude of artists’ endeavours to creatively engage with the public space have become more aligned with the temporal than the spatial. This shift away from traditional notions of public space has allowed for an increasingly elusive, radically dispersed number of events and intervals to occur. Projects incorporating site-specificity have also shown a greater preoccupation with so-called non-spaces and non-sites. Many such artworks can be characterized by their movement from the grandiose to the more intimate in scale. Practices rooted in institutional critique now foreground playfulness rather than pontificate, although nonetheless maintaining a concertedly premeditated approach incorporating multiple angles, vantage points, and media. Much recent art has been involved with a choreographic turn as artists stage, configure, and orchestrate their creative actions. This article discusses a variety of these projects including artworks by Mark Boulos, Harrell Fletcher, Sharon Hayes, Toby Huddlestone, Tino Sehgal, Jane Tsong, and The Yes Men.

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Keywords: art interventions; live art; performative; political art; public art; site-specificity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Massey University School of Fine Arts

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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  • 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. The 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.
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