‘ART as/is SOCIAL: On engagement in contemporary cultural theory & practice’ is a new discursive format at that will examine contemporary theories of socially engaged art in relation to the reality of artistic practice. It will be hosted by Lianne Mol at the ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin (Germany) and is supported by the Radboud Honours Academy Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

Lianne Mol is a cultural researcher focusing on how artists and art institutions engage and concern themselves with social and political issues through their practices. Her research interests include museology, institutional critique, artistic activism, intercultural exchange, the epistemology of art, and sustainability in fashion. A recurring aim in her research projects is to bridge the gap between cultural theory and academia on the one hand and the art world with its creative and curatorial praxis on the other. Lianne has collaborated on the recent international publication I can’t work like this: A reader on recent boycotts and contemporary art (2017), edited by curator Joanna Warsza. She has been working with ZK/U since January, combining her background in cultural studies with the field of artistic production.

The ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics sees itself as a laboratory for inter- and trans-disciplinary activities centered on the phenomenon of “the city”. ZK/U promotes international exchange on global issues, in the light of what is happening in one’s own backyard. Working with local and international partners, ZK/U residencies brings together critical minds at the cutting-edge of artistic production and urban research. Contemporary artistic positions, ranging from contextual and interventionist to conceptual and street art, address selected themes. Work at ZK/U is informed by theoretical and practice-based critiques developed in the disciplines of geography, anthropology, urban planning, architecture and the humanities. Find more information on www.zku-berlin.org.

Radboud Honours Academy offers ambitious students the opportunity to lay a solid foundation for their academic career through a diverse, in-depth, international funding and education programme. Within the Disciplinary Programme for Master’s students, participants set up and carry out a research project at an internationally renowned university, research institute or other organization abroad. For more information, visit: www.ru.nl/honoursacademy_english/.

ART as/is SOCIAL is a follow-up project to the discussion series THE NEW ART ACTIVISM that was hosted in October & November 2016 by ZK/U fellow Claudine Zia (http://www.zku-berlin.org/residencies/259/)