Forthcoming Special Issues:
The Failure of Public Art
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2020
Co-Editors: Cameron Cartiere & Jennifer Wingate with guest co-editor Anthony Schrag
In honor of the 10th Anniversary of Public Art Dialogue journal, we dedicate this issue to reflections, observations and critical analysis on the failures—and perceived failures—of public and participatory art.
The history of public art is filled with controversial works, from Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc (1981-1989) and Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North (1998), to innumerable commemorative works and historic monuments. What have we learned from projects that have not withstood the test of time, or perhaps, because of time, found their true relevance? Are monuments too often monumental failures, or are they opportunities to redefine our understanding of the ethics of representation? Public performance and participatory practices also have evolved under the umbrella of public art over the past several decades, but have our conceptions of participatory art gone unchallenged? If works are community-engaged, are they assumed to be ‘good’ because of their public nature? Art in the public realm also is hindered with the process of immediate evaluation: this often fiscally-mandated requirement to report results has propagated an overly positive emphasis on successes within public artworks and participatory projects. However, if we only celebrate our successes and continually deaccessioning our controversies, where is the learning? It is, in part, through failures that we are able to develop and grow as a field, but how can we do that if the failures are invisible? How can we develop deeper understandings of the practice if we are unable to see where it works, when it has transformed over time, and where it simply has failed?
Submissions may explore works within the full range of art in the public realm – sited sculptures, monuments and memorials, performative and participatory public projects, temporary and permanent works. Submissions might also address public art policies, commissioning trends, and historical re-evaluations.
Spring 2021, 11.1
Public Art and Gender
Submission Deadline: August 1, 2020
Guest Editor: Sierra Rooney
Public art has long been the province of men, as its creators, its patrons, and, most visibly, its subjects. However, the recent campaign to remove Confederate monuments and the rise of the #MeToo movement have led to a widespread reconsideration of who is and is not represented in the public landscape. These social movements have begun to tip the balance toward equality of representation by encouraging governments, public art organizations, community members, activists, and artists to imagine new ways of ameliorating the gender disparity. They draw upon a diversity of practices, ranging from street art and public performances to traditional portrait statuary. This special issue considers with the historical lack of female representation within public art imagery, and also the underacknowledged role of women as public art producers—artists, administrators, and educators. We welcome papers across geographical contexts from scholars, public art practitioners, artists, and curators, that address innovative and intersectional approaches to rebalancing gender inequalities in the built environment through case studies, historicized investigations and theoretical arguments. This issue aims to advance the discourses of public art and gender by interrogating the visibility and invisibility of women in public spaces.
Fall 2021, 11.2
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2021
For this issue the editors invite submissions pertaining to any theme related to public art. As with each issue, we aim to offer a lively mix of different features. The wide range of submission types typical of the journal (such as scholarly articles, artists’ projects, critical essays, interviews and book reviews), is both welcomed and encouraged here.