These conferences are part of the research program "L’art en partage citoyen", led by professors Sabine Forero Mendoza (ITEM) and Pascale Peyraga (ALTER) of the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour
Since the beginning of the 21st century, citizen movements have been spreading across the territory, outside of institutions, in circles not only political but also associative, cultural and artistic. The contemporary crisis of representative democracy seems to respond to a renewed interest in “ordinary citizenship” which intends to give new meaning to the concept of “living together”. Witness, for example, the 15 M citizen movement of the Indignés which denounces, in Spain and in Europe, the renunciation of the political class to defend the ideals of human rights or, in France, the network of the “Archipelago citizen”, oriented towards local initiatives. So many facets of a phenomenon which claims to reveal the capacities of individuals to self-determine, to formulate judgments on the common good and to propose other ways of making society, on the fringes of labeled uses and places.
If democratic citizenship materializes in practices by which individuals and groups claim new rights, what about this “citizen art”? How is it defined? Is all “participatory art” “citizen art” and, conversely, does every citizen art call for the active participation of its public? Should we look for its characteristics in terms of the themes invested, the actors involved in the creative process, experienced practices and procedures or in the conjunction of these various circumstances?
To say that the work transforms society is not to say that it acts as a propaganda message, but that its production modifies audiences by associating them with a production process which aims to upset the agreed logics, to redefine places and positions. These are the mutations and critical displacements that we propose to study through an examination of the very concept of citizen art and the concrete analysis of proposals and achievements that claim it.
Klaus Fruchtnis will present and discuss some the findings of his research in terms of engagement in participatory and collaborative art practices, from the 1990s to today. And more specifically, in the form of a comparative case study between France, Spain and Colombia. He will be in discussion with Sören Meschede, curator, cultural producer and coordinator of Concomitentes, an artistic production platform that supports public art projects engaged in a specific social context. Concomitentes was founded in June 2018, and the underlying methodology was formulated by artist François Hers in 1990. Since then, and with the continued support of the Fondation de France, this initiative, called New Sponsors, has had a considerable social and cultural impact, wherever it is implemented. Over the past 25 years, it has given rise to more than 500 projects in different European countries, notably in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and now in Spain.
Conference on Thursday, January 23rd at 14h30.
Salle du conseil, bâtiment Lettres du Collège SSH
Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour
Avenue de l’Université, 64012 Pau