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Leading figures in art from around the world will meet this weekend as part of the first ever Arte Útil Summit, taking place at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima).
The four-day international summit brings together the key players in the Arte Útil movement, to reflect upon its influence to date, and to plot its future course, particularly in relation to current social issues and political urgencies.
Arte Útil (roughly translating into ‘useful art’ or, more accurately, art as a tool or device) is an ongoing body of work that draws on artistic thinking to create and implement activities that can change society. Since its initiation by artist Tania Bruguera in 2011, the movement has grown through an expanding network of projects to provide a serious and real challenge to the contemporary art establishment. Most recently represented in the award of the 2015 Turner Prize to the Assemble design collective.
mima director Alistair Hudson said: “Arte Útil forms part of a significant moment that is witnessing a migration of art from its usual environments such as museums, galleries, markets, into the cut and thrust of ordinary life. As this takes place and begins to influence a genuinely radical change in institutional practice, Arte Útil has been met with strong opposition, often with the accusation that its motivations are complicit in a neo-liberal agenda.
“The summit is called to redress the balance in this debate, to answer these criticisms and affirm the position of its agencies as a subversive challenge to a market driven art world.”
“Pertinently, the 2016 Summit takes place at mima as we repurpose ourselves according to use value of art, whilst being directly located in one of the most disenfranchised regions of the UK, noted for the strength of its support of an EU exit.”
Anyone is welcome to join the summit where participants can expand their understanding of Arte Útil through presentations and discussion as well as practical workshops around Middlesbrough to address the key issues of migration, housing and political instability.
Supported by the EU Culturefund and Arts Council England, the Arte Útil Summit 2016 takes place between Friday 22 July and Monday 25 July, is free to attend and open to everyone. To view the full programme and book your place, visit the website.