Phantom publics
Imagining ways of ‘being together’
in Ghost-haunted land
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This chapter focuses on the examples of art practices that have in various ways sought to create, contemplate and complicate situations of social encounter in relation to various aspects of the post-Troubles predicament. In an essay on the use and value of public gesture in art and politics, Jan Verwoert proposes that the 'performative dynamics of the practices that bind society together' can be productively understood as 'inherently chaotic'. In the versions of socially and situationally responsive art practices in contemporary Northern Ireland, one critical issue of concern might potentially be articulated as a two-part question. This two-part question is regarding how we might imagine new conceptions and situations of commonality and publicness. The provocations, deliberate contradictions and nervy 'inadequacies' of the contemporary art are awkward, disruptive effects and vital imperfections that trouble any resolved 'message' that might appear to be available.

Ghost-haunted land

Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland

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