Cities in installation: contemporary art in urban space

Abstract: This research project arises from the investigation of the contemporary city and its unfulfilled functions: a place of appropriation, identification and interaction with individuals. The main concern is how to contribute to renewed urban futures that allow the sense of collectivity and critical spatial practice to be exercised in the city. To this end, the first step we took was to expand the notion of public space towards the idea of the public sphere, where political, sociological, ideological, anthropological and aesthetic elements meet in the process of constructing meaning. The object of analysis chosen is public art, with a focus on the plastic arts, but it could also be architecture, street theater or even popular festivals, as long as the concerns in question were noted in these forms of public expression. In the specific case of the plastic arts, the investment in the formation of renewed urban futures is communicated in a clear and viable way, since it is respectively based on interaction with people and takes place on top of a pre-existing architectural amalgam. We tried to investigate the relationship that occurred there: the forms of appearance (aesthetic forms) of the dialog with this amalgam and the criticisms of architecture and urbanism that can be extracted from the various interventions tracked. The Situationist International movement (1957-1972) is the paradigm presented, based on its concepts of drift, psychogeography, détournement and Unitary Urbanism. The latter does not constitute urbanism as such, with new guidelines for implementation: Situationist Unitary Urbanism was precisely a critique of the urbanism in force at the time. Among the aesthetic forms in which the dialog between art and urban architecture has appeared, we have noticed a recurrence of the image in contemporary times. We set out to analyze the operations carried out by the countless images in the landscape: factual images, cliché images and the counterpoints that the artistic image tries to establish. What we call above the contribution to renewed urban futures or the process of constructing meaning, serves as the title of this research: they constitute cities in installation, in the process of being born to fulfill symbolic functions obscured by the immediacy, functionalism and speed of urban flows. Access here.




Renata Moreira Marquez