The third side of the wall. Art and its cities

Based on a ethnographic observation of empirical urban art expressions in the city of Lisbon and on a comparative reflection between “distinctive cities” (Markusen, 2004), this essay aims to create a narrative that covers the main vectors of the transformation of the urban art universe in the last decade. Trying to reproduce the essayistic style and narrative modalities that were the origin of this reflection, we will trace a path through the main debates about urban art, showing together the heterogeneity of the processes and forces that condition the artistic presence in the urban space and outlining future hypotheses of research. The purpose of this reflection will be to lead the reader to a) observe the effects of the progressive influence of the grammar of entrepreneurship; b) inquire into the regulatory dispositifs created – new agents, institutions and legislation either to punish or encourage its production; c) analyze the material and sensorial relationship of urban art with the city itself – from its aesthetic normativization, to the reification of property or the consolidation of the “legislated city”; d) integrate urban art into the broader process of structural division of culture, which, on the one hand, is absorbed by the hegemonic narrative of the creative industries and, on the other, permeates the social fabric, promoting social participation or cohesion; e) examine these transformations of urban art in the context of the construction of the contemporary city and, in particular, of its public space. Access here.




Chiara Pussetti e Vitor Barros


Forum Sociológico