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?
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