In this essay, Dave Beech explores how art, artists and arts practice participate in a wider revolution, and the inter-relationships between art’s political, activist and socially engaged practices and the institutional and infrastructural politics of art itself. ‘The Wide Revolution: reflections on the history of political art’ was commissioned by a-n’s Artists Council as part of its one-year research project Artists Make Change.

Artists Make Change is a research and development project designed to explore the role of the artist in society, and in particular to assess, and advocate for, how artists and art organisers can effectively work for change.

In the development of Artists Make Change, a-n Artists Council members Glen Stoker and Rachel Dobbs approached Dave Beech and Ellie Harrison to write about how, when, where and why Artists Make Change from two different perspectives – one practical and one theoretical. These scene-setting texts act as a starting point for this year-long project.

Dave Beech
a-n Artists Council
18 May 2020
Dave Beech The Wide Revolution reflections on the history of political art

Photo: Michael F Hiatt