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(De)Facing the Wall. The Traditions, Transactions and Transgressions of Street Art

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gillian JeinORCiD



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Association des Etudes Francaises et Francophones d'Irlande, 2012.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Exploring the shifting ground of the relationship between street art and transgression, this article analyses the dislocation of street art from its traditional geographies of deviance and, in the era of advanced commodity culture, investigates the possibilities for understanding this art form as a socially engaged spatial practice. Embedding contemporary street art in the artistic practices of Surrealism and Situationism, the article traces a lineage of graffiti's associations with protest and the street through to its current manifestations within some of the world's most established 'white cube' gallery spaces. In attempting to avoid the inevitable melancholic readings of street art as commodified sign, the paper argues for the importance of considering the locatedness of the work in any evaluation, and thus moves to read street art in correspondence with the urban spaces in which it performs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jein G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Irish Journal of French Studies

Year: 2012

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 83-111

Online publication date: 31/12/2012

Date deposited: 20/11/2019

ISSN (print): 1649-1335

ISSN (electronic): 2009-941X

Publisher: Association des Etudes Francaises et Francophones d'Irlande


DOI: 10.7173/164913312806739719


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