Too comfortable? Some misgivings about the social turn in contemporary art | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 1757-1936
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1944



Visual artist Amy Spiers has been making participatory and socially engaged art since 2006. Her article explores her own evolving understanding of community and social engagement through a critical reflection of a number of her artworks over the last few years. She describes how theorists Rosalyn Deutsche, Miwon Kwon and Claire Bishop, have looked to theories of radical and plural democracy, particularly Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau’s concept of antagonism, to reveal the political shortcomings of much socially engaged art. She finishes the article by explaining how these theoretical underpinnings have impacted her art practice and advocates for a more destabilizing approach to socially engaged and participatory art practices.


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