Saturday, August 15, 2009

Public Art, just not for the public

From Chicago's pride, the Millenium Park, comes a cruel, yet fascinating, story of public art gone wrong.
BOTH of the public sculptures it opened recently, one by the Van Berkel atelier, and the other by Zaha Hadid, got damaged by the all-too-loving public.
Looks quite nice from above, doesn't it? If you go to ground level, it's even more inspiring. Here's a look at Hadid's work:

The entire structure, made of aluminum, is covered with cloth. Now let's take a look inside this spaceship.

Get the picture?
Not so difficult to imagine people stepping on the cloth.
One of the key statements of the manifesto of a group of artists presenting the exhibition Unusually Rare Events is that the artist does not need to think about the spectator when creating the work. Agreed. However, when creating a public work of art (mind you, to some extent any work of art is public), he might want to consider that his work will possibly not only be appreciated like this:

but also like this:


And those, of course, are the "nice" visitors.
The question arises: should we stay with "public-proof" solutions? Hire teams of guards to keep the aura going? Or maybe consider every mark and hole as part of the (pardon the pun) holistic concept of the work of art?

Now I wonder how these marvellously designed shoes by Zaha Hadid feel:
Not to mention the London Aquatics Centre, to be one of the main venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
(via)

5 comments:

Hadi said...

thanks mate ! very good blog

The Lab said...

Very interesting questions this raises. I am thinking back to the second half of Miwon Kwon's indispensable book One Place After Another and the issues it raises around community and public art. It actually reminds me that I need to reread it! I believe I will propose it as our next book for the staff book club at our gallery.

Natalis said...

zajebiste botki.

d-mister said...

i really like the architectural sculptures, not only are they beautiful but i really like how people (and children) can experience it form different angles and points of view, including hanging from it!!
thats how i would want my own to be, not just aesthetics but something that can be touched

Anonymous said...

Ooh I can just feel those purple shoes pinching ones calf as they slide uncomfortably down toward ones ankle and flapping loosely on the pavement so one may trip over the resulting orange peel, displaying an artistically achieved random pattern of blisters where the horrid things have chaffed ones leg...

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