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Artangel and the Changing Mediascape of Public Art

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This article examines the early history of the Artangel Trust (1985–91), focusing on the use of advertising media such as billboards and outdoor screens in a series of prominently located projects, by artists such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, and Les Levine. It also identifies significant shifts in the organization’s approach to practices of commissioning, mediation and promotion after 1991, following the appointment of James Lingwood and Michael Morris as co-directors. Instead of simply emphasizing the specific differences between these two incarnations of Artangel, the article draws attention to the altered – and continually changing – relationship betwen media and concepts of the public sphere in curatorial practice.
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Keywords: Artangel; advertising media; art and pilgrimage; artists’ billboards; public art commissioning; public sphere; site-specific art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. The journal takes a wide perspective in the inquiry into what constitutes "the curatorial." Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative, virtual and interventionist strategies. While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, the expanded cultural practice of curating not only produces exhibitions for audiences to view, but also plays a catalytic role in redefining aesthetic experience, framing cultural conditions in institutions and communities, and inquiring into constructions of knowledge and ideology.
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