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‘Public art: reframing the streets’

HAMES LEVACK and the ICA present ‘Public art: reframing the streets’, a series of talks about public art…actually held in public...

Saturday 5th March 1-5pm (bus leaves ICA at 1pm; £8 / £7 / £6)
Sunday 6th March 3-5pm (meet outside St Margaret’s Church; £5 / £4 / £3)

Talking about public art in a gallery space can be a bit boring. So HAMES LEVACK and the ICA are taking the debate out into the spaces it refers to. ‘Public art : reframing the streets’ is a frantic weekend of talks examining public space and the art within it, which will travel through London’s most interesting public spaces.

They will examine who public art is for and who should pay for it, question what we should do with monuments to our more politically incorrect past. What do artists think of public art; has it become an outdated initiative that needs to be subverted in non-official ways?

The talks begin on Saturday 5th March with a tour by Brad Downey, New York artist and co-director of documentary film Public Discourse, visiting areas saturated with unsanctioned public art and unofficial street commissions, the only really democratic public art according to many street artists.

The tour will then stop off to visit artist Doug Fishbone, found temporarily resident in one of the capital’s parking spaces, before heading to Zimbabwe House’s Jacob Epstein frieze (1907-8) on the Strand. Here Henry Lydiate (founder of Artlaw Services and one of the UK’s most prominent art lawyers) and Rosemarie MacQueen (Head of City Development (Planning and Design) for Westminster City Council and member of the Westminster Public Art Advisory Panel) join Brad Downey to discuss the control of public space in Britain. As illegal graffiti gains increasing credibility in the mainstream, will it possible to prevent the removal or ‘defacement’ of graffiti under moral rights legislation from which other artists enjoy protection?

Sunday 6th March sees us visit those often-ignored public monuments inhabiting our public spaces. How should we publicly remember those who have died fighting for our country? How can we honour the dead without glorifying war? Led by Jane Furlong, co-ordinator of the Imperial War Museum-based UK National Inventory of War Memorials, and Josie Appleton, Culture Editor of Spiked Online we visit St Margaret's Church, which stands in the shadow of Westminster Abbey.


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