CONTESTED: currency and value in dance and art

A curated collection of talks by dance artists, academic researchers and social scientists delving into questions of power and ethics, bringing together material from across ID’s digital archive.

Chrysa Parkinson, in discussion with Gill Clarke (2010), speaks in relation to her own practice on the validity of art with no commercial currency, highlighting the embedded anti-capitalist values inherent in some of the choices she makes whilst acknowledging how currency and acclaim positions artists. Zinzi Minott and Greta Mendez (2019) recount their journeys through dance, reflecting on how the systemic whitewashing of the contemporary dance sector and the underfunding of Black British Dance has made Black dance artists need extra resilience and strength to resist erasure and gaslighting. Nigel Thrift (2011) offers a perspective from his discipline of human geography, arguing that performative and embodied knowledges are becoming crucial to the conduct of the modern economy, whilst Sam Ladkin (2015) argues against value in the arts, proposing that it is often the staunchest defenders of art, and those who seek to prove that art has a specific value, who do it the most harm by reducing its power to raise difficult questions and expose uncomfortable truths.

We invite you to explore the material in any order and find your own connections, points of interest, divergences and inspirations.