MARXISM IN CULTURE SEMINARS – SUMMER TERM 2013
Friday 7th June
Room 349 (Senate House, Malet Street, London)
Kate Crehan (City University of New York)
“Art” with a Capital “A” and the Practice of Community Art
For forty years the community arts and public arts group, Free Form Arts Trust, (1970-2010) was a significant player in British community arts, playing a major part in the 1970s struggle to carve out a space for community arts in Britain. Having turned their back on the world of gallery art, the fine-artist founders of Free Form were determined to use their visual expertise to connect, through collaborative art projects, with the working-class people excluded, as they saw it, by the established art world. To what extent did these artists succeed in making art for, and with working-class people? How radical was their rejection the world of gallery art, the world of what the art historian Paul Kristeller calls Art with a capital ‘A’? And what effect did their turn away from the established art world have on their practice as artists, and on their aesthetic language?
Kate Crehan is Professor of Anthropology at the College of Staten Island and the GraduateCenter, City University of New York. Her publications include The Fractured Community: Landscapes of Power and Gender in Rural Zambia; Gramsci, Culture and Anthropology (translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Turkish); and Community Art: An Anthropological Perspective. She is currently working on a book manuscript exploring Gramsci’s concepts of subalternity, common sense and the organic intellectual.
Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)
‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8
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