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?