Educational Aesthetics

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book offers a new reading of the ‘educational turn’ in contemporary art. It connects the insights of radical social theory and critical pedagogy to specific art practices and curatorial methodologies, through the idea of the commons. By considering art as an educational commons, this book highlight that the distinctions between teacher and learner, artist and spectator, gallery and public, and ultimately the connection between education and freedom (Friere 1978, hooks 1994, Bishop 2012, Reilly 2018 and Jackson 2022), relate to the distinctions between ‘stultification’ and ‘emancipation’ (Rancière 1991).

How do artistic strategies relate to ongoing political or theoretical work on community, commons, commoning (Hardt and Negri, 2009) and being-with (Nancy, 2014, 2008)? How do these new commons resist neoliberal enclosures (Christopher 2018) and the ‘consensus system’ (Rancière 1999: 95-122) of globalisation. To what extent do contemporary art and emancipatory education prefigure post-capitalist forms of commonality? We contextualise artworks as sites of democratic learning and manifestations for the co-production of difference, encounter and dissent, through terms such as ‘the constituent museum’ (Byrne 2018).

This volume extends definitions of ‘community’ or ‘commons’ towards artistic ’events of knowledge’ (Rogoff 2008), framing curating within the educational-turn as both pedagogic and democratic. Curating can then be understood as a method of resistance or dissensus (Rancière 2010) to the hierarchical social relations which prevail throughout neoliberalism. Rather than curator, artist, and public, the art works and public engagement projects in this book might be better understood as composed of an anarchic collision of readers, writers, and agitators. The questions will be posed through readings of the art of Tania Bruguera, Barby Asante, Phil Collins, Suzanne Lacy, Jakob Jakobsen, Ahmet Öğüt, and other contemporary artists. The work will be of interest to academics and students across art, art history, curation, pedagogy, sociology, critical theory and politics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2024


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