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Fair play: art, performance and neoliberalism

Fair play: art, performance and neoliberalism

Harvie, Jen, author

This text asks what is the quality of participation in contemporary art and performance? Has it been damaged by cultural policies which have 'entrepreneurialised' artists, cut arts funding and cultivated corporate philanthropy? Has it been fortified by crowdfunding, pop-ups and craftsmanship? And how can it help us to understand social welfare?

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
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Statement of responsibility: Jen Harvie
ISBN: 1137027290, 9781137027290
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Note: Formerly CIP.
Physical Description: xi, 240 pages
Series: Performance interventions
Subject: Central / national / federal government policies; Arts Political aspects.; The arts: general issues; Dance; Architectural structure & design; Social & ethical issues; Neoliberalism Social aspects.; Theatre studies; Industrial / commercial art & design; Art and society.; Media studies; Architecture: professional practice; Art: financial aspects; Art and Design; Performing arts; Public administration
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: Performance interventions.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9781137027283


  1. Introduction
  2. Fair Play 1. Labour
  3. Participation, Delegation and Deregulation 2. The 'Artrepreneur'
  4. Artists and Entrepreneurialism 3. Space
  5. Exclusion and Engagement 4. Public/Private Capital
  6. Arts Funding Cuts and Mixed Economies Afterword

Author note

Jen Harvie is Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. She is author of Staging the UK and Theatre and the City, co-author of The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance and co-editor of Making Contemporary Theatre: International Rehearsal Processes and Palgrave Macmillan's series Theatre and.


What is the quality of participation in contemporary art and performance? Is it damaged by cultural policies introduced since the 1997 election of New Labour - and especially since the 2008 recession - which have 'entrepreneurialized' artists, cut arts funding and cultivated corporate philanthropy and the 'creative industries'? Might it contribute to urban gentrification, particularly in London? Has its democratic potential been at all fortified by artists' innovations in crowdfunding, pop-ups, networking, installation art and immersive theatre; their engagements with ideas of home and folk culture; and their practices of labour and craftsmanship? How can it enhance understanding of relationships between the individual and the group? How can it improve social welfare and nurture social life? Fair Play: Art, Performance and Neoliberalism explores these questions through the work of important contemporary artists and organizations including Marcus Coates, Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Michael Landy, Grayson Perry, Rachel Whiteread, Lone Twin, Punchdrunk, Tate Modern and the National Theatre.


"At once balanced and uncompromising, Fair Play: Art, Performance and Neoliberalism provides a clear sighted look at the negotiations artists have to make, and the interventions they continue to make, in the neoliberal landscape of contemporary London. It's a bracing read." - Ric Knowles, Professor of Theatre Studies, University of Guelph, Canada