The Fear of Art

The Center for Public Scholarship is pleased to present the 32nd Social Research conference, "The Fear of Art," on Thursday and Friday, February 12 and 13, 2015, at The New School in New York City.

World-renown Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei will be the keynote speaker for the event, which brings artists, activists and scholars together to discuss the history of art censorship and the role of artists as collaborators and rebels. On Thursday, Weiwei, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, will deliver his speech via a video he created especially for the conference with gallery director Ethan Cohen. (He is unable to attend the event in person as Chinese authorities forbid him from travelling outside his home country.)

The conference aims to examine how art can threaten, terrify, and provoke the wrath of political, religious, and cultural regimes. Speakers will examine the history of art censorship and the role of artists as collaborators and rebels. The agenda also pairs artists and scholars to discuss activist art, the threat posed by art, the potency of art, artists at risk, and artists in exile. Museum and gallery directors will discuss who does the policing and ask: What is the role of self-censorship?

The screening of Weiwei’s address will be followed by a panel discussion with Jerome A. Cohen, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Melissa Chiu, director of the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Ethan Cohen, founder of Ethan Cohen Fine Arts; and Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.

For more information please visit The New School website.


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