Artistic Agency in Public Agencies By K. Emma Ng

Great to read this new piece by Wellington based writer-curator K. Emma Ng who recently spent sometime in NYC. Tying together thoughts on public art in NZ by first thinking about some key works in 1970s NYC that worked for the public good, and ending with thoughts on how public art shouldn't necessarily be operating in an antagonistic framework. "The role of artists in public projects should be generative, rather than ameliorative." 

A paper Ella Sutherland and I presented about our own positions in this paradigm for Curating Under Pressure, which was then published in Enjoy's Assay/Essay was referenced: 

The co-option of artists into productive ‘feel-good’ narratives in a ‘transitional’ era of urban uncertainty has also been critiqued by Chloe Geoghegan and Ella Sutherland, who founded the artist-run space Dog Park in the years following the earthquakes. They point out that while they were criticised for failing to plug into the dominant idea of the creative post-quake city (as exemplified by initiatives like Gap Filler), they sought to maintain the integrity of contemporary art’s critical functions: “While the ‘transitional city’ may have made sense for those selling it – the perfect case study for academic and professional pursuits – we wanted to create a reality governed by critical production.”