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Open Access (De)Facing the Wall. The Traditions, Transactions and Transgressions of Street Art

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Exploring the shifting ground of the relationship between street art and transgression, this article analyses the dislocation of street art from its traditional geographies of deviance and, in the era of advanced commodity culture, investigates the possibilities for understanding this art form as a socially engaged spatial practice. Embedding contemporary street art in the artistic practices of Surrealism and Situationism, the article traces a lineage of graffiti's associations with protest and the street through to its current manifestations within some of the world's most established 'white cube' gallery spaces. In attempting to avoid the inevitable melancholic readings of street art as commodified sign, the paper argues for the importance of considering the locatedness of the work in any evaluation, and thus moves to read street art in correspondence with the urban spaces in which it performs.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The Irish Journal of French Studies is an annual international refereed journal published by the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande. Articles in English, French or Irish are welcomed on any aspect of research in the area of French and Francophone culture, society, literature and thought. Articles published within the last two years are available free online to members and may be purchased by non-members. All other articles are available on an open access basis.

    Please note that the Print ISSN listed for the journal on this website applies to volumes 1 to 10, and part of volume 16. All other volumes are published, in their entirety, on-line only.

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