By Nicolas Whybrow
To Henri Lefebvre, the distance and "lived everydayness" of the inter-dependent, multi-faceted urban produces manifold probabilities of identifiction and cognizance via frequently imperceptible interactions and practices. artwork and town takes this commentary as its cue to check the function of paintings opposed to a backdrop of worldwide emerging city populations, bearing in mind the more moderen performative and relational "turns" of artwork that experience sought of their urban settings to spot a partaking spectator -- an implicated citizen. In exploring how works of art current themselves as a way wherein to navigate and plot town for a writing interlocutor, Nicolas Whybrow discusses varied examples, representing 3 key smooth modalities of city arts perform. the 1st, strolling, contains works by way of Richard Wentworth, Francis Al?s, Mark Walllinger and others, the second one, play, contains artwork by means of Antony Gormley, Mark Quinn and Carsten H?ller. The 3rd, cultural reminiscence, Whybrow addresses throughout the debatable city holocaust memorial websites of Peter Eisenman's memorial in Berlin and Rachel Whiteread's in Vienna.
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Additional resources for Art and the City
6875in IBBK018/Whybrow ISBN: xxx x xxxxx xxx x September 24, 2010 A N D T H E C I T Y CITY-SPECIFIC ART Lefebvre’s ‘slogan’ implies, for my purposes, art that is sited or ‘plays some part’ in the ‘culture’ of the city and that is produced as a response to – and therefore, importantly, contributes to producing in turn – city existence. At the same time I am interested, as I believe I have intimated, in the notion of the city itself as a performing and performative entity or cultural product based on how people and other phenomena act, are seen to act or, indeed, are permitted to act, within it.
11 Central to a tactical, embodied response to the normative urban scene, as Lefebvre saw it, was the notion of a ludic city. Whilst the situationists developed the critical practice of psychogeography – rooted, naturally, in surrealism – as a playful means of recovering lost energies and re-signifying the city (as we have seen), they simultaneously shared with Lefebvre an interest in play as manifest in the form of the ‘festival’ (or ‘collective game’), seeing it as the ultimate expression of social revolution.
Thus, art may be radically changing its modus as well as locus operandi – which may render certain forms effectively redundant – but its fundamental role as interrogator of, or worrier at, the concepts of ‘being and seeing’, as well as ‘becoming’, is not thereby erased. The futurist thinker Paul Virilio would probably beg to differ, having explicitly and dismissively stated in conversation with Sylv`ere Lotringer that art simply ‘no longer plays its role’ (Lotringer and Virilio 2005: 72). However, his argument is directed at the perceived ‘failure’ in the twentieth century of the arts of sculpture and painting in the face of both technology and the mass market: ‘the art of the motor has surpassed the static nature of the plastic arts’ (58), which ‘have experienced a total accident’ (60).