Street art and heritage conservation: From values to performativity

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The present study re-evaluates the relationship between street art and the value-based approach to heritage conservation. The research presents the limitations of the value-based approach, which relate to its conceptualisation of stakeholders, experts and tangible preservation, as well as its distinction between present and past, and tangible and intangible heritage. In response, the paper suggests a performative approach to street art heritage conservation theory and practice. First, the paper introduces the notion of performativity within non-representational theory and its temporary, affective and relational aspects. Drawing further on the performativity approach, street art and urban studies, the paper illustrates and argues that the aesthetic experience of street art does not distinguish between past and present or tangible and intangible; instead, the experience is relational, socio-spatial, temporary and affective. Finally, the research offers a performative methodology for practising relations between street art and heritage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSAUC - Street Art and Urban Creativity
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)6-19
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • street art
  • urban space
  • heritage conservation
  • performativity
  • non-representational theory
  • performative methods

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