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Halifax’s Nocturne versus(?) the spectacle of neo-liberal civics

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Halifax’s Nocturne: Art at Night has been met with almost universal enthusiasm from both the city’s arts community as well as local political and business elites. This article argues that, while there is much laudable about events like Nocturne, and while many of the works and performances they feature are reflexive and critical, they risk participating in (and promoting) what I term ‘neo-liberal civics’. Ironically, these public events take place and have resonance only within a cultural, social and political landscape already dramatically privatized, one where the meaning of ‘creativity’ has become a battleground.
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Keywords: civics; neo-liberalism; privatization; public art; urban space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: New York University and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Publication date: June 22, 2012

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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