Course detail

Art in Public Space. The Investor, the Function, Perception

FaVU-UMFPAcad. year: 2019/2020

The course focuses on the basic strategies of placing works of art in public space within the Central European cultural framework from the 19th century to the present. It will introduce their specific functions and formal solutions, as well as the changing content of the terms "the public/the public one", "public space" and "collective representation", both in the contemporary discourse and in selected sociological, empirical and art history approaches. Through representative examples the students will be acquainted with the variable relationship of heteronomy and autonomy on the axis of a political assignment and an artistic solution, as virtually every artistic work in public space can be understood as a political act with political implications. In addition to the strategies of placing art in public space, a special attention will be paid to their disposal: the so-called "minus effect" that accompanies the removal of "undesirable" sculptural works (especially memorials). This practice is also linked with the heritage protection of both official and civic nature. The first part of the course will present "a history of city construction" and installation of artworks in relation to urban design. We will also focus on the current situation where traditional urban monuments are beginning to lose their symbolic significance and visual appeal, and artists seek (often outside the official institutions) to create alternative interventions in public space and at the same time to seek more effective expression strategies aimed at the wide - and very diversified - urban audience. We are also interested in the process of the appropriation of these subversive artistic expressions by the power representation. These topics will be reflected through the crucial category of urban public space.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will be able to define the basic concepts related to art in public space, to identify and classify artistic expressions, and in the case of permanently installed works of art to describe the mechanism of their placement, including a reflection of the ideological context at the time of their placement (town function, political and power representation, national intentions, transfers of unofficial expressions). At the same time students should be able to assess the role of works of art in public space at present and apply the current interpretative strategies in their interpretation.

Prerequisites

Knowledge of history and art history at the secondary school level.

Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures and excursions; during one semester there are always 10 lectures and 3 excursions (a guided tour of places of important architectural and artistic heritage and contemporary artistic works in Brno in situ; a visit to an art institution).

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

The credit is awarded for a presentation given in the classroom. The assignment will be specified in the initial lesson after a consultation with the teacher to take into account students' individual preferences. The scope of the presentation: about 15 minutes, an interpretation, visual documentation, giving the sources.

Language of instruction

Czech

Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Public space: a general introduction to the topic and selected explanatory strategies in the context of history of art, architecture, urbanism and regional planning; the basic theoretical approaches (sociological, empirical, art-historical)
2. The uncertain meaning of the term of "public space", its symbolic ownership and legitimate use
3. Historical changes: the public space as a basis of the traditional composition of city (Giambattista Nolli, Otto Wagner, Camillo Sitte); the collapse of tradition - abstract functionalist urbanism (Le Corbusier)
4. Attempts to return to the traditional urban forms, generic city, "metastatic" urbanism - the renewal of Barcelona
5. From the park to the shopping mall: the tension between the private and public dimensions of urban space
6. A memorial as a political act; "memorial disputes" as indicators of social and political changes
Significant examples in the Czech Republic: the Marian Column in the Old Town Square, the Liberation Monument at Vítkov in Prague)
7. The Communist-era planning development: systemic installations of works of art in public space
8. Damnatio memoriae and the "minus effect": the removal and demolition of sculptural monuments
(The Stalin Monument at Letná in Prague, The Communists in the Moravian Square in Brno)
9. The apparent autonomy: the contemporary artistic works in public space and their correspondence with the official assignment
10. Examples of top-down and bottom-up strategies (The Monument Manual)
11. The current curatorial and artistic approaches. Finding a consensus among the "statues in the streets" and the contemporary dematerialized art concepts
12. The current strengthening of the role of the state as the assigning authority
13. Artistic works as a commentary on the history of the 20th and 21st centuries (domestic and foreign examples).

Aims

The lectures deal with public art in the context of Euro-American culture from the 19th century to the present. At the end of the course, students will be able to deal with the topic of public space and to identify the role of works of art in different political regimes. Based on the knowledge gained students should be able to deal with and interpret the new character of space as well as individual works of art.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Lectures are not mandatory.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme VUM Master's

    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-D , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 1. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-D , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-VT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional
    branch VU-IDT , 2. year of study, summer semester, 2 credits, optional

Type of course unit

 

Lecture

26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

eLearning