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THE ASSAULT ON CULTURE: A Mute Magazine talk on privatisation and
critical artistic practice

Does private-public funding and management of culture mark the death of
institutional and critical autonomy? And is direct censorship an
anomaly, the most visible form of a wider constriction of cultural
freedom, or the shape of cultural policy to come?

Mute has invited a range of practitioners along to discuss the perils
and opportunities for critical cultural activity in neoliberalising

Leigh French, co-editor of Variant magazine and contributor Rebecca
Gordon-Nesbitt will discuss the recent censorship of Variant by
Culture & Sport Glasgow, the new private charitable trust that manages
the city's arts and leisure. They will be joined by Richard Birkett,
assistant curator of the ICA's current Nought to Sixty programme and
David Garcia, 'tactical media' theorist and Dean of Chelsea College of
Art and Design London.

The talk will raise some of the following questions:

Does commercialisation enhance or corrode 'critical' culture? Why does
an institutional turn to 'openness', collaborative and politicised art
practices coincide with privatisation? And how will capitalist crisis
impact on arts funding and cultural practice – a shift from radical
reformism to conservative reaction or revolutionary refusal?

Where: Upstairs at Publish and Be Damned self-publishing fair,
Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2.

When: 3-5pm, Sunday 3 August 2008.

Contact: |



Rochelle School map:

Buses: 243, 55, 8, 388
Tube (further): Bethnal Green, Liverpool Street, Old Street


Download PDF flier here