The Freee Art Collective (Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Melanie Jordan) use protest, language and text within the public sphere, and are interested in the politicization and critical interrogation of art through the possibilities of the public space. They aim to question the role of art in today’s society and the art market itself. Using the language of Marxism, Art & Language, the anti-art and anti-aesthetic of Dadaism, and the writings of Adorno and Habermas they attempt to activate the public through the use of the public sphere and of public art. They aim to practice what they call a counter-hegemonic art to reinvigorate the idea of Art as negative, absent and lacking. Freee use both the public arena and gallery space in attempt to bring the two closer together, turning the gallery into a public space. Using language in a questioning, non-art, and the philistine manner of historical Conceptual Art, they wish to give a voice to the truth and in doing so take sides rather than, in the contemporary art world use of words in an ironic or non-committal way. The artists have previously worked together on several critical public art projects for exhibitions such as Gavin Wade’s ‘Strategic Question: What are Aesthetics?’, Venice Biennale, 2005; B+B’s ‘Real Estate’, ICA, London, 2005; IPS, Birmingham, 2007; and Nought to Sixty, ICA, 2008.
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