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Art Practical issue on free speech in the art world


The San Francisco-based web magazine Art Practical has just released a new issue on the theme of “Free Speech in the Art World.” The issue is edited by Dushko Petrovich and features pieces by Martha Rosler, Collen Asper, Dan Fox, and others. Below is Petrovich’s short introduction to the issue. You can check out the entire issue here.

The Constitution protects our right to free speech, but its exercise is another matter entirely. In every direction, we are surrounded by varieties of speech that are decidedly unfree: advertising, self-censorship, pandering, cliché, euphemism, forced confessions, and on and on. Indeed, studying the sundry genres of unfree speech would be one way to approach the topic—to delineate, by process of elimination, a zone where speech was actually free.

The art world purports to be such a zone. One possible definition of art would be expression that attains a condition of freedom. The fact that the art world promises—however disingenuously—to be a space that preserves and elevates such expression makes it a space worthy of both vigilant protection and thoroughgoing investigation.

While it is impossible to take up every aspect of free speech in the art world, these texts—in both form and content—address some of the basic questions that surround this issue today. Having established and mostly maintained the right to free speech, we still have to work constantly toward its achievement, and I hope this publication helps pull in that direction.

Image via Art Practical