[Friday 26 March, 18:00 at the CAC Reading Room
The Artist and the City
In post-industrial cities culture is associated with the new urban ‘business’. The services of this area can be exemplified by prestigious festivals, biennials, large sports events, etc., that aim to promote the cosmopolitan image of the place and appeal to international investors and tourists. Various examples of gentrification all over the world show that cultural spaces and ‘artists’ quarters’ often become spaces for elite consumption. Meanwhile, even critical artistic production is repeatedly adjusted to large-scale development programmes, which artists themselves are simply not able to control. The lecture will consider the ways we could define the function of artists’ urban activities today. Whose culture (and for the sake of whose interests) is being created in the city of new economy? Are public spaces, which have been ‘humanised’ through art, only an integral part of cities’ symbolical economy or can they become also spaces for democratic politics? We shall attempt to answer these and other similar questions with reference to examples in Vilnius.