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2016 - 17 Events

Centre of Latin American Studies

Reimagining public space

Reimagining Public Space in Mexico: Relationality, Collectivity, Community in Art and Beyond

A Bilingual Symposium

20 Jan 2017

Winstanley Lecture Theatre
Trinity College

Anti-monuments, ephemeral interventions in the city, and collectivized rituals of mourning are rapidly changing the notions of the public and public space in today’s Mexico. A country with a strong history of state intervention in the arts – in which muralism linked public art with the tradition of pictorial representation – Mexico has seen in the past decades a complex remodelling of the relationship between artistic practice and that which is common, collective and assembled.  Relationality and community-building have become established ethical horizons in conceptual art practice, while site-specificity has woven closer connections between art and place. Furthermore, human rights groups have dissolved the distinctions between art and activism, as creative practice shifts into denunciation and solidarity. Meanwhile, however, machines of normalization and agoraphobia, such as corporate and financialized architectures, proliferate with unprecedented speed, making it ever more difficult to create or occupy anything collective. How has public art changed in these conditions? What ought to be its role in the new century? What does public art look like today? What are the roles that memory, the body, and the archive play in it? Can a feminist vision, such as Rosalyn Deutsche’s, continue to inspire us to defeat agoraphobia?

The last event in a series of symposia that have taken place since May 2016 in Mexico City and New York, this symposium brings together leading academics, curators, and architects to reflect on these issues. Engaging feminist and site-specific perspectives, this event also seeks to stress the role of the aesthetic in the shaping of public spatialities in Mexico and beyond. 

Trinity College and Centre of Latin American Studies with the support of the British Academy Newton Mobility Grant

Registration fee: £16/ £12 * Lunch will be provided

Programme Details


Participants' Biographies


Contact: Mara Polgovsky