Art dans l’espace public: quand les politiques croisent les pratiques

By Edith Brunette
Text written and published at the conclusion of a research residency at the DARE-DARE artist-run center, Montreal
(in French)

Since the beginning of the 2000s, off-site artistic practices seem to flourish, with production and dissemination spaces multiplying the opportunities for support. However, does this offer come only in response to the demand of artists, or is it not also the result of choices made, upstream, by the State’s cultural policies?

In a context where the Arts Councils have been placing increasing emphasis on cultural mediation, audience development and increasing the links between the arts and “society” for the past ten years, the presence of art in the public space is of considerable strategic importance. Through their programs, budgets, and discourses, what roles do the major funding institutions attribute to art, and how do these roles respond to economic and political trends beyond the cultural field? In short, what does the state expect from these practices? More importantly, how do these expectations affect artistic practices in the public space?