On Liberty and Art
John and Charles Watkins
John Stuart Mill 1865
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Albumen print, partially over-painted in ink wash
How do artists engage with liberty as aesthetic practice, historical concept and public discourse? While artists are celebrated as icons of creative freedom, critical discourse on liberty through art is often accused of being naive, politically suspect, or socially irrelevant.
This year’s bicentennial of JS Mill, author of On Liberty (1859), is an occasion to re-examine how artists are promoted by the state and media as exemplars of personal liberty, creative individualism and the pursuit of happiness. In contrast, an address to liberty through art reveals how liberty as a supposedly self-evident and universal value is grounded in historical contingency, social pragmatism and cultural prohibitions.
The speakers at this study day include Amanda Beech, Dave Beech, Jake Chapman, Pia and Galia Kollectiv, Roman Vasseur, John Russell and Bob and Roberta Smith
£20 (£15 concessions), booking required
Price includes refreshments
or call 020 7887 8888.
Registration and Coffee
Introduction by Bill Furlong and Victoria Walsh
Introduction by Malcolm Quinn
Bob and Roberta Smith
Pil and Galia Kollectiv
Jake Chapman in Conversation