Public art (revised). The Soft Power Lectures of Temporary Academy of Arts and the aesthetic practices of the Center of New Media and Feminist Public Practices as cases of a "situated" public art.

Category: Theories

Chapter in edited book Δημόσια Τέχνη-Δημόσια Σφαίρα, επιμέλεια Αγγελική Αυγητίδου, University Studio Press, Οκτώβριος 2021 [Public art - Public domain, editor Aggeliki Avgitidou, University Studio Press, October 2021]

The first part of the article focuses on a genealogical approach of contemporary public art, in methodologies, technologies, strategies and tactics by which different artists propose ways to make (public) art in a political way. The category of public art remains a difficult case as it can include diverse practices from gentrification projects regarding considerations of a ‘natural public space’, interventions of socially engaged and participatory practices to practices of artistic activism. This text turns the attention to the ‘troubles of public space’, within the globalised condition and crises and the ethical challenges related to public space. At the same time, the relationship with time, the investment in longitude programs that aim to new and unexpected articulations and the instituent praxis, are examined as important parameters in deconstructing pseudo-dilemmas between 'aesthetic processes or the aesthetics of the product'. For that, the second part, is dedicated to two specific practices, the practice of the Temporary Academy of Arts, a para-institutional structure and the research Centre for New Media and Feminist Public Practice, supported by the Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, two different organisations that were initiated by the writer. The archive, performative and educational acts, detournement and persistence in radical epistemologies, such as feminist, post-colonial and Marxist theory, are the main axes of the practices examined, aiming to shifts by raising uncomfortable questions in relation to our world. In the particular examples we are underlying the importance of aiming at a ‘situated’ public art, an idea derived by Donna Haraway’s ‘situated knowledges’, which is proposed as a counter practice to the hegemonic globalised knowledge economy and patriarchal public (sphere).