The Coupling of Art and Government: Dilemmas in Government Commissioned Public Art
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In Queensland, Australia, public art, and specifically the public art produced under Art Built-in, has been seen to be "dumbed down," with a preference for art in the public domain that is not critically-engaged. The government client-commissioner within the supposedly democratic art-by-committee process often expects the artwork to represent government values and to be content-free and risk-free with the intention of avoiding controversy. With the demise of Art Built-in in 2006, Arts Queensland has put in place a new strategy, art + place. In terms of critically engaged practice in public art, has Queensland public art improved? In this paper, a case study of three recent commissioning phases of the Department of Justice and Attorney General will be undertaken to reflect on the development of Queensland's government public art commissioning methodologies.
International Journal of the Humanities
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