Thursday, October 9, 2008

Public Art

'Public art is not, according to my approach, art in the public space, but an art that institutes a public space, a space of common action among people'

Chantal Mouffe - Cork Caucus 2005

'She Changes', 2002, Porto, Portugal, Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman is a sculptor who shapes urban space. She transforms sites that are either unnoticed infrastructure that have faded from public memory, or iconic landmarks that are so overexposed they become almost invisible. At each location she considers the visual language and materials of the place, the historical ways of making things, and the current way that people move through the space. Using the physical environment to create living, breathing pieces, the work is often made of flexible, diaphanous materials that allow air currents to move and shape the sculptures. Passers-by are encouraged underneath or inside the sculpture's form, making them an active part of the piece rather than discreet viewers of it.

In an article in Newsweek regading controversy surrounding a public artwork for Phoenix, Arizona, she commented, 'It's good for art to make us think, to give us a shared experience that creates a dialogue, makes us talk to each other, including strangers'

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