Art and Revolution: A Symposium – Dunedin School of Art, October 13-14 2017




13-14 October 2017

Following eight successful symposia held at the Dunedin School of Art, from ‘Illustrating the Unseeable: Reconnecting Art and Science’ (2009) to ‘Art and Future: Energy, Climate, Cultures’ (2016), the Dunedin School of Art, together with the scholars at the University of Otago, is organising an ninth symposium entitled ‘Art and Revolution.’

2017 is a significant centenary year. One hundred years ago the Russian Empire was brought to an end by two events, the February and October Revolutions of 1917 that heralded the formation of the Bolshevik-led Soviet Union. Both revolutions were applauded by Russian artists, for whom the social structure in which they worked changed from private to state patronage. Other revolutions in history also brought about changes in the role of art and artists, in the direction and momentum of art’s agency, as well as intense discussions about the part art plays in the affairs of societies. We might all get caught up by momentous, life-changing social and political events—revolutions—in our own time. What role might art and artists have in the swift surge of change? Can art lead the debate about the nature of a post-revolution future? What examples can we put forward from the past to give us some idea of the way to act as artists and theorists of the visual? What are the threats and what the opportunities for art and artists in the unfolding of revolution?

And what about other forms of “revolution”—in social relations, in science, in forms of representation, in the media of art, in fashion, in exhibition design…?

THE SYMPOSIUM will be held at the Dunedin School of Art, Riego Street, Dunedin, on OCTOBER 13-14 2017. An EXHIBITION associated with the Symposium theme will run 9-21 October 2017. See the website

The date for submissions of abstracts for papers and/or proposals for artworks is 10 May 2017. All abstracts will be peer reviewed before finalising the programme. Artworks will be selected from the proposals for exhibition. There will be no charge for admission or registration. All enquiries should be addressed to .


Three books of selected papers have been published from previous symposia, with two more in the editing stage. There is no reason to think that we will not get a publishing contract for selected papers from Art and Revolution

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