Beyond the Institution: Community-Centred Art Activism Against the Commodification of Culture

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 23 Number 2

Beyond the Institution: Community-Centred Art Activism Against the Commodification of Culture
Paula Serafini, pages -

Abstract

Herbert Read’s 1941 essay ‘To Hell with Culture’ spoke of the state of artistic practice under a capitalist system and conditioned by the structures of the art institution. Read saw a project for social change that had art and culture at its centre, but not a kind of artistic practice that is elitist and exclusive; rather, he saw art as a liberatory practice for everyone. Departing from Read’s essay, this article examines community-centred artistic practices that challenge the canons and structures of institutions, and that have social change at their core. By looking at the processes and politics of these practices, I will argue that art activism has the potential to fight the commodification of culture denounced by Read, and take forward the still incomplete project of democratisation of the arts in a prefigurative manner.

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To cite this article
Paula Serafini (2015) Beyond the Institution: Community-Centred Art Activism Against the Commodification of Culture, Anarchist Studies, 23(2), -

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