The lecture series Critical Issues in Public Art is a part of Public Art Norway ’s focus on knowledge production in our field where we initiate and develop lectures, workshops and publications that discuss current issues. As a little national “giant” when it comes to commissioning public art works, we see there is an urgent need to rethink many of the strategies and policies in this production:
The question of representation, financial structures and artistic sensibility versus public frameworks. The recurring debates on art in the public sphere demonstrate the need to facilitate the discussions about possibilities and preconditions of art in public spaces. The debate is often raised to a principal level; lifted out of the realm of the self-referential field of art and into the political and public sphere.
It is in this context that we seek to establish a dialogue and reflection in the form of a lecture series that add resses those processes and questions raised by public art. We have invited actors within the norwegian and international field of art, who through their practise thematise and discuss questions tied to art in public spaces. As a means to reinforce the conversation, we have invited artists, theoreticians, critics and curators to prepare questions and short contributions to each lecture. The series will focus on the following questions: What is Public Art today? Which publics are we talking about? How do we develop critical tools for the interpretation of art in public space? Do artists understand public art commissions different from other artistic practices? How do we ensure the artistic sensibility to current interests in public art? Why is this production financed the way it is?