University of Gothenburg

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  • Saturday27/1015:00-19:00


27 OKTOBER, 15-19

Today, we need to be aware that the discursive rendering of the concept of so-called “public space” is often no more than a nostalgic veneer. This is not to say that public space –– conceptually –– is something that is not worth defending, but –– rather –– that public space as a term and “practice” needs to be redefined in the overall framework of the contemporary condition.

Today, we are facing a situation in which it would be naive to talk about THE public. The public, as a political imaginary, is mostly a projected ideal, an idealized longing for a somewhat homogeneous entity, which is factually inexistent.

Today, we have to redefine the human factor within the public sphere of what we will refer to as PUBLICS: a heterogeneous landscape composed of a plethora of multi-scaled actors, stakeholders and constituencies, who –– together –– form a reality, which situates itself in the so-called public sphere. To paraphrase Lenin: what is to be done?



–– Defne Ayas;

–– Joanna Warsza;

–– Flavien Menu;

–– Joanna Zawieja;

–– Markus Miessen.

Joanna Zawieja -Al-Madhafah/The Living Room projectsubverting the role of guest and host

Joanna Zawieja is an architect based in Stockholm. Her practice is situated between the fields of art, architecture and urban planning, investigating new forms of collaboration and working methodologies when planning and building public space. In her own architectural practice she´s been exploring the building process as a way to conceive and discuss architecture, for example in the reconstruction of the art space Konsthall C and the music venue Fylkingen. Since 2014 Zawieja works for the Swedish Public Art Agency responsible for projects regarding urban development. Over the past years Zawieja has curated several projects exploring different forms of publicness through public art, among them theAl-Madhafah/The Living Roomproject in Boden by the architect Sandi Hilal. A project looking into the right of hosting and the livingroom as a potential device of hospitality. Zawieja has also participated in several publication on the intersection between architecture, art and public space.


Defne Ayas –– On Public(s) Yet To Come

Defne Ayas is a curator actively working at the intersection of contemporary art, media, and politics. Ayas has served as a director and curator to several cultural institutions and research initiatives across the world, including the Netherlands, China, the United States and Russia. Until recently, she was the director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (2012-2017). Ayas acted as the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey in the 56th Venice Biennale; co-curator of the 6th Moscow Biennale; co-curator of the 11th Baltic Triennale, and curator of Performa, New York’s visual art performance biennial, in its first four editions. She is currently advising the expansions plans of VAC Foundation (Moscow).

Flavien Menu –– New Commons for Europe

Flavien Menu is a London-Paris based architect with a postgraduate dual degree in urban policies (Sciences Po Paris / London School of Economics). Alongside his practice that aims to drive urban changes by intervening at the crossroads of architecture, politics and economics, Menu extensively fuels the cultural debate with his writings and talks. His first book, News Commons for Europe, followed a two-years research project on the urgency to find new bridges between engaged practices in Europe. Menu has intervened at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Columbia GSAPP, ETH Zurich, and the Architectural Association, where he taught. He recently curated and moderated talks at Tate Modern-Towards New Commons For Europe and Venice Biennale-How to invent new Pubic Forms.

Joana Warsza –– Outside of Institutions Protective Walls. PAM 2018 and the City Curating

Joanna Warsza is a curator working predominantly outside of walls of the institutions and white cubes. She has been the artistic director of Public Art Munich 2018, curated the Public Program of Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg or the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, among others. Since 2014 she is head of the curatorial program CuratorLab at Konstfack, University in Stockholm. She edited  Red Love. Reader on Alexandra Kollontai. Co-ed. with Michele Masucci & Maria Lind (coming 2018), I can’t work like this. On boycotts in contemporary art(Sternberg Press, 2017), Everything is Getting Better.Unknown Knowns of Polish (Post)Colonialism(Savvy Contemporary, 2017) or Empty Stages, Crowded Flats. Performativity as curatorial strategy(Alexander Verlag Berlin, 2017).


Produced with support by and in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

> Public Art Agency Sweden


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