[Please note that this event, originally scheduled for 22 February, is now to take place on 17th May Thursday from 6 pm. The venue remains the same. The following information is revised to reflect the new schedule details.]

The next Urban Salon seminar to be held on 17 May 22 February 2018 is on Art Festivals and the City, organised by Dr. Hyun Bang Shin, Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, with Dr. Julie Ren, Visiting Fellow of the Department. For attendance, booking is required via Eventbrite

Art Festivals and the City

WHEN: Thursday 17 May 2018, 18.00 – 20.00
WHERE: PAR.LG.03, Parish Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE (view LSE Maps)


The 2017 edition of the Documenta art festival featured a satellite event in Athens, outside of its regular host city Kassel. Held every five years, Documenta is widely considered one of the most influential contemporary art festivals, which has historically been known for its field-configuring provocations. The latest edition, however, garnered criticism of its excursion abroad as “crisis tourism,” a way to exploit the political and financial situation in Athens for cultural consumption.

This panel takes Documenta as a starting point to discuss the relationship between art festivals and cities, exploring the way that contemporary art serves a particular function for the urban imaginary. Especially given the proliferation of the art biennial in cities outside of Europe and North America, this raises questions about audience, representation,and the spatial politics of cultural production. Contemporary art and its attendant symbols, references, institutions, actors, and immense wealth of resources, shapes cities in powerful ways. How do scholars from different fields assess the risks of exploitation, or the impact of aspirational politics?

Chair: Dr. Hyun Bang Shin (Department of Geography and Environment, LSE)

Introduction: Dr. Julie Ren  (Department of Geography, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Department of Geography and Environment, LSE)


  • Dr. Adam Kaasa (School of Architecture, Royal College of Art; Co-founder of Theatrum Mundi)

Access information

  • There is step free access throughout the building via lift(s) and accessible toilets. View detailed accessibility information on DisabledGo
  • Unisex toilet facilities are located within the venue.


About the Urban Salon

The Urban Salon is a London based seminar series aimed at scholars, artists, practitioners and others who are exploring urban experiences within an international and comparative frame. It is co-organised by Monica Degen (Brunel), Matthew Gandy (Cambridge), Loretta Lees (Leicester), Debby Potts (KCL), Jennifer Robinson (UCL), and Hyun Bang Shin (LSE). For more information, click here to visit the web site.