Book Review | The Art of Public Space

This monograph by Kim Gurney is a journey through Johannesburg via three art projects raises intriguing notions about the constitutive relationship between the city, imagination and the public sphere- through walking, gaming and performance art. Amid prevailing economic validations, the trilogy posits art within an urban commons in which imagination is all-important.

The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City, by Kim Gurney was published in 2015 (Palgrave, London) asa synthesis of the project New Imaginaries by the Goethe-Institut.

Kim Gurney takes readers through Johannesburg via three art projects. It is a journey that gives a unique insight into the potential of public art to fashion new public imaginaries of common space.

Kate Dawson, Africa at LSE Book Review

“This book brings something new to the public space discourse that allows us to think beyond the specificity of Johannesburg. It indeed exposes the naturalised ways of thinking and talking about public space, which tend to privilege permanency and definition, while rendering invisible the processes by which public space is actually made. … Gurney re-politicises the debate in new ways, offering us critical tools to re-imagining and re-speak of public space in the city.”

Read the full book review by Kate Dawson here.