What do we mean when we refer to neoliberalism? Does the referent change when we are considering different sectors—urban, financial, political, cultural? Moreover, how do we understand the role of the arts as both a propeller and a resister of neoliberal tendencies? Is it possible to speak of the public value of art when public institutions are being dismantled? Is the “participatory turn” in contemporary art and performance a sign of renewed commitment to democratic assembly or a capitulation to a post-Fordist service economy? This lecture considers contemporary critiques of neoliberalism next to a range of “expanded practices” that seek to foreground and to counter the effects of late capital formations. Pitched as ten propositions—or five antinomies—the lecture considers whether the ‘expansion’ of performance practice is securely resistant or insidiously symptomatic of neoliberal expansion. Along the way, Jackson invites stories and examples from the Lisbon context to deepen the exploration and come to terms with the complexity of artistic practice in the so-called age of neoliberalism.
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