Public Art, Private Spaces: How do art and artists change our cities for the worse?
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
Despite the best of intentions, the presence of artists in communities comes with the sort of cultural cachet that is attractive to other incomers and eventually contributes to further displacement. In the context of urban development what does artistic expression contribute to? This public conversation aims to look at the impact of art on neighborhoods. To what extent are artists able to mitigate the changes they bring about? What do ephemeral creations on private property really support? Can art be described as knowingly complicit in gentrification? To whom does public art belong and whose voices are left out of the public arts narrative?
Guillaume Adjutor Provost lives and works in Montreal where he completed doctoral studies in fine arts at UQAM in 2017. His research looks at the nature of artistic commisions and the use of commissions as a mode of creation. He has obtained bursaries from CALQ, the CAC, the Jean-Claude Rochefort prize in arts critiques and the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman bursary in contemporary art. The work of Guillaume Adjutor has been shown in solo expositions and collective shows in Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Catalonia and in Lituania.
Emma Haraké is a visual artist and educator who also collaborates on curatorial projects and events. She is currently pursuing her graduate studies in Concordia University's Art Education Department. Her research interests include autobiographical and arts-based inquiries, memory work, storytelling and oral history. Emma has worked extensively in the non-profit sector and locates her teaching within community-based practices.
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