Chiara De Cesari
Framework and mobilities
Chiara’s project brings together IMAGINART multi-sited research by combining a cross-case comparison with an examination of the intersections and interactions between overlapping fields of cultural and artistic production. She builds on her research in Palestine, Italy and transnational platforms, and on fieldwork carried out by the other IMAGINART researchers. What is of special interest for Chiara’s project is the circulation of artists and bureaucrats, artworks and writings, art and policy ideas, and monies, but also the transnational spaces, networks, projects, and organizations (biennials, donors’ economies, international organizations and circuits, etc.) that connect and nurture national and local ones. In particular, focus is on the international biennial, a format proliferating across the globe that, for several scholars, has become a generative place to analyze art’s political possibilities; at the same time, biennials and cultural projects are deeply entangled with the neoliberal economy as commodified and commodifying devices of city and nation branding and of so-called culture-led development and urban regeneration/gentrification schemes. Another central concern of this project is the way in which multiple, entangled genealogies beyond the ‘West’ and Western European and North-American contexts nurture such institutional experiments.
This project asks: How do creative institutionalisms and counterinstitutionalisms differ across urban and national contexts in relation to different forms of state transformation? How do creative institutionalisms connect across (national and other) borders? Finally, (how) does socially engaged art, especially by artists and cultural workers’ collectives, function as experimental statecraft and as a mode of the radical political imagination within shifting interconnected ecosystems? The output will be a theory of creative, experimental statecraft and counterinstitutions focused on how they practice and produce radical political imagination.