tonight the streets are ours

We have to see the relationship between what is being said and how it’s being transmitted. For people to open up and come closer to those who are conveying difficult truths, it may be easier through a spectacular project. So there is a function of the spectacular here, an artifice that is more acceptable because of its aesthetic quality.
– Krzysztof Wodiczko

I’ve spent the last week thinking a lot about public art. In large part due to the fact that I had to do a presentation on The Living City in my art history class, however it also had to do with seeing Exit Through The Gift Shop. I’ve always found the subject of street  art engaging (which won’t come as a surprise to long time readers here),  so having to put together a presentation on the topic of public art  only helped to solidify my love even more. Yet, it bought me to more questions/thoughts to ponder. The one I kept coming back to this week was the difference between creating a “spectacular project” but not having it – the art – become spectacle.

Very much a grey area, as it is something that is completely subjective. My spectacle, might be your spectacular, or vice versa. This of course is true for all art, in any of its forms, still I find it particularly intriguing in terms of public art as it is about works that are temporary and made from ephemeral materials, in public spaces, and also in terms of performance art. In the research I did this week I found artists, such as Wodiczko (who does installation and also performance art), as coming extremely close to turning said subjects into objects, and making a spectacle. Yet, even though some of the work frustrates me, it’s almost for that reason I enjoy public art so much more to work I find in a gallery. Anything that challenges you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone and causes you to question and discuss, in my opinion, is good art.

What did you see this week that was spectacular?



Filed under art friday

8 responses to “tonight the streets are ours

  1. kelly

    nothing. Which makes me think I’m not stopping to appreciate the spectacular and amazing stuff around us everyday.

    There is a book I flipped through briefly at the airport a couple weeks ago i think it was called “The Book of Awesome” it was about the author looking for awesomeness in everyday life in order to appreciate more and become less bitter and jaded. Simple things like popping bubble wrap or getting the short line at the grocery checkout or cleavage in a sun dress on a w rm summer day….(that was my addition)

  2. Definitely, as there are spectacular things around everyday. I find them in the simplest things most times. Lately I’ve been fascinated with fruit and vegetable displays at the market.

    One must never underestimate the relief of popping bubble wrap. ;)

  3. Is anything ever really temporary anymore? Regardless of the ephemeral nature of some of the materials that are used in public installations, in this day of cameraphones (not to mention street level security cameras) a form of it will always be preserved. You can’t scratch yourself without it appearing on YouTube anymore.

    I saw summer this week, for the first time this year. That was pretty spectacular, smelled even better!

  4. In the literal sense, yes, but you are right about the preservation of the art through cameras and video. I’m still undecided if this is good or bad. In regards to street art, I don’t think that it would have became such a massive movement without the Internet.

    I’ve been loving how its light out until 10pm! Missing my backyard though. Enjoy the weekend sun. :)

  5. kelly

    hmmm… fascination with produce displays huh?

    well…how about an assignment?

    A photograph of something like a delightful display of lemons with one lonely lime in it?

    of something like that

  6. ha. i like that idea. i have my photography assignment already though, i’m doing the 365 day project (wherein i take a picture everyday). perhaps i’ll post an assortment here sometime. i just started a few weeks ago.

  7. kelly

    please do. I remember one photographer from Minnesota he did the photo a day thing. But he only allowed himself to take one photo a day, no re-takes, no going back the next day and re-doing it. Are you being that strict?

  8. No, not being that strict. I took lots of photos before I started this project, and I use them for various other things so for me it doesn’t make sense to restrict myself.

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