AGYU online event to consider role of public art

Schulich will soon be launching its Business Excellence Academy, a business education and mentorship program supporting 60 Black and Indigenous Ontario high school students this summer.

The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) will present “Permanence/Impermanence: The Life of Public Art” on May 4 at 1 p.m, an online conversation featuring prominent global artists discussing the challenges and importance of public art.

The conversation is part of The Uncontainable Collections Research Project presented by AGYU, an annual workshop series initiated in 2022 to make York University’s art collection more accessible to the public and for research purposes.

In the spirit of accessibility, this iteration of the workshop was produced collaboratively by AGYU staff Allyson Adley, Liz Ikiriko and Jenifer Papararo, as well as faculty and students in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

The preliminary interview questions were developed with York University graduate class, ARTH 6000, led by Professor Anna Hudson, and will be addressed to the participants who are prominent artists and curators whose work critically engages with notions of “publicness” as it relates to “public art,” “the public sphere,” “public space” and “publics.” They include: Allison Glenn (United States), Vanessa Kwan (Canada), Mohammed Laouli (France, Germany, and Morocco) and Raqs Media Collective (India).

During the online conversation, each participant will give a 10-minute overview of their research and practice before joining a collective conversation that uses public art to counter codified notions of public space. In preparation for this live discussion, pre-interviews with each of the participants will be conducted, addressing the principles and ideals of democracy in how public space is inhabited; how decolonial acts of resistance de-centre monuments that glorify settler-colonial histories; what role communities can play in the commissioning of public art; and the limitations and risks of working in public spaces. Transcripts of these interviews will be available on the AGYU website on April 28.

This iteration of the workshop intends to activate, question and learn from involved arts practitioners discussing public art as a form of inspiration, as community engagement, and as a marker of time and place.

Those who wish to find more information or register, can do so here.