How can freedom of expression and critical thinking be brought back into the art world, if it is now so fundamentally averse to it?
Contrary to the public’s perception, a freshly released survey by ArtsProfessional in the UK indicates that the openness, risk and rebellion that should characterise the arts sector is being systematically eroded. 80% of respondents agreed that those working in the arts feel prevented from expressing their opinion on gender, sexuality, public subsidies and politics, and risk being professionally ostracised for it. Mostly, the pressure to keep quiet seems to come from colleagues, as the survey revealed. What happened? How could a field that prides itself in being equitable and open minded become a place of self-censorship and even intimidation and intolerance? And how can freedom of expression and critical thinking be brought back into the art world, if it is now so fundamentally averse to it?
- Laurie Rojas (arts historian, Senior Editor Spike Art Magazine)
- Mohammad Salemy (arts theorist, artist, Co-Director New Centre for Research & Practice, New York)
- Barbara K. Prokop (artist)
- Niels Betori Diehl (artist)
- Concept text for four public discussions organised by NBDBKP at EIGEN + ART Lab and ST. AGNES/KÖNIG GALERIE in October 2017
- ArtsProfessional’s Freedom of Expression survey