Migration of art in other places/spaces

/, Essays, Blesok no. 114-115/Migration of art in other places/spaces

Migration of art in other places/spaces

Migration of art in other places/spaces


The artist, leaving its own comfort zone and entering the realm of the public, nowadays, intensely conducts his/her art practice towards creating with and inside the collective/community. Concerning the social practice, the entering the realm of the public doesn’t imply installation of artworks, for example, monumental sculptures in a public space which are genuinely autonomous Modernistic artworks but artworks that communicate with the community/ audience. Miwon Kwon in Public art and urban identities writes about public art which researches the issues of gender, race, cultural identity and other sociological topics that characterize a certain place. That is the only way for the artist to create a work that is unique and exclusive to any other space and location. (Kwon, 1997) Art may be considered as engaged if it is authentic and derives from the present moment. The form and the structure of the art act should directly correspond to the time and place, that is, the contextual performance of the work. I will illustrate this statement with the series of “sculptures” by Thomas Hirschhorn: Bijlmer Spinoza Festival (2009), 24h Foucault (2004), Deleuze Monument (2000) and others which are temporary object installations (in a residential area, far from museums and galleries) that can be used as an open platform for art, talks, and discussions with the residents.


Bijlmer Spinoza Festival (2009)

From art to subversive sociopolitical actions

Núria Güell, an artist from Barcelona, Spain is also quite radical in her actions and art engagements, using all the possible media that she has at hand for subversive sociopolitical actions. She redefines and breaks the limits of the “legal,” analyzing and detecting the abuse of power owned by the institutions/ ruling systems. Her artworks challenge the established systems of power, meanwhile, using her “privileged” status of an artist, she teases the hegemonistic, enforced principles, finding their weak spots in order to avoid them. Part of her contributions as an activist is her book where she has described the process of withdrawing money from a bank, instructions for getting a legal visa, stay and residence in asylum, etc. One of her more radical operations is the hiring of company which supposed to eject the front doors of houses which, due to unpaid principle balance, were taken into possession from the owners and repossessed by CAM (Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo) which, by means of various political frauds, corruption and legal manipulations, succeeded to increase its value through real-estates in the course of a few years. After the ejection of the front door, the families who were kicked out could return in their homes while the bank had no legal basis to prosecute the company responsible for the door ejection nor the harmed families.
Collaborating with the experts of economy Lucio Urtubia, Enric Duran and Qmunty, Guel publishes a handbook with explications of many strategies that can help one to escape some of the bank charges or draw money from the banks. This handbook is her media that aims to educate the citizens about the banking principles, analyze the banking systems and offer alternative options that could be used reversibly. Moreover, she has developed the concept of Displaced Legal/Moral Application that ought to define the methodology of her work. She analyzes the legal and moral principles and applies them on the opposite side, moving the relations of power, thus posing questions and opening discussions about the established system.
The duo of Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos under the name of The Yes Men is also quite radical and creatively fights against the corporations and other capitalistic power centers. Using the symbols and products of capitalism, appearing in some media, on TV or by the hacking of the corporation web sites, the duo illustrates a possible form of resistance by manipulating with the same media which is used by the capitalistic power centers.

A particularly significant project which derives from a community of unprivileged, marginalized groups is the one of the Afro-American artist Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses (1990) in Houston, Texas which surpasses the limitations of a public art project and turns into a community service, educational, revitalizing project in which artists, activists and administrators restore twenty-two houses. The artist’s purpose in this project is to use art as an apparatus that enriches people’s life aside from the power of the establishment. (Finkelpearl, 2000, p. 237) The residents of these houses are impoverished families, mainly single mothers who in this project see an opportunity to leave their financial crisis as well as to acquire skills and knowledge that could help us in future. In addition to the housing spaces and the educational centers, some of the houses have been turned into art galleries with regular exhibitions and discussions that are relevant contextual meaning to the community.

AuthorKristina Božurska
2018-12-13T11:15:08+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 114-115|0 Comments