public art

23Dec10
franck scurti

liverpool jackpot

In the slipstream of engagement public art can become a toy of social-media-aficionado’s. Public art includes any work displayed within public spaces, with the goal of being accessible to everyone. It refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain. Based on this definition one could argue that all online-publishers are public artist since their output is accesible to all. To avoid concavity of  the term you can add the highly subjective condition that public art has to improve the public realm and contribute to place character and identity.

what is public art grenoble

franck scurti

It leaves room for debate and reflection something Franck Scurti often triggers with his art. In his project ‘what’s public space‘ he challenges the status of graffiti and in Liverpool Jackpot he plays with the context of neon-signage when text and images selected by the neighbourhoods inhabitants are loaded through seemingly random sequences. He uplifts urban icons by using them for construction and he activates people to take part in the creation. By this he’s capturing moments of (inter)action and transforming them into something that can last (longer). I also like his websites navigation: home-street-museum as the three domains where he likes to improve character and identity. Anthony Gormly took this one step further with One-and-Other (2009) when he donated the fourth plinth at Trafalger Square (London) to 2400 real people who could occupy the plinth for 60 minutes each. As a object d’art “one-and-other” by Gormly will be remembered, but all the performers on the plinth had their moment in public. By itself the fourth plinth has become an object of public involvement and people can be part of the choice what will be on display next year.

Public art can be positioned at the continuum between the disappearance of craftmanship and the industrialization of leisure activities. The craftmanship itself can be explained traditionally (like Marc Quinn did on the fourth plinth in 2005) or can include ‘new’ crafts of light- and video-art. The leisure activities can be seen as pure observational or more involved with the making off. Where the scale of industrialisation will define the project to be a work of art or simply a technique of engagement used by public institutions to obtain their target of community-support. Like the commercialisation of urban art, public art could well be the next domain for culture for innovation and added value.

trafalger square

A.Gormly, T.Schutte. M.Quinn, Y.Shonibare - fourth plinth

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