What is your background and research interests?
I am an interdisciplinary urban scholar interested in the politics of public art and public space. With a background in public administration, political theory and urban sociology, I am now working in the field of cultural geography. In this context, I am passionate to research the interconnections between artistic production, urban environments and expressions of ‘the political’ at large.
What are your plans as a guest researcher at the institute?
After spending a week at the beautiful Pufendorf Institute in December 2022, I am really looking forward to return to Lund in the Spring of 2023 – I would love to meet local students and researchers and further discuss the many politics lingering in art in public spaces. I am hoping to wrap up some writing on case studies from Canada where public art is managed and prioritized differently than in Europe.
How do you hope to benefit from your work with the Theme?
I can already see the synergies of the Theme Public Art and the New Commons growing. We have had exciting conversations about the notion of the commons, and its current use in activist academia, and self-organized initiatives. Furthermore, I am keen to receive feedback on works in progress. In addition, the atmosphere in Lund and its many museums are having a very positive impact on the creative corners of my brain.
What do you think your contribution to the Theme will be?
I believe my contribution to the Theme could be a more conflict-attuned understanding of public art. While much public art tries to beautify urban space, and create “positive” feelings, I believe we also need to carefully analyze the discomforts and historical dimensions of displacement and marginalization that public art can touch upon.
Read more about Friederike Landau-Donnelly on her website
Read more about the Theme Public Art and the New Commons