Now you can follow all the buzz (and criticism) around the every expanding and booming Istanbul contemporary art scene with Contemporary Istanbul‘s iPhone/iPad application. Free to download, you can check it out here: http://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/icemagazineen/id503579960?mt=8
In the summer of 2007, artist Lian Bell took to the pavement of Dublin to better get to know her neighbourhood. Although it’s a little while ago, I love this public art intervention/collaboration for its simplicity and foundation on talking, helping and sharing the city’s public space.
The entire intervention debrief is reproduced here in full courtesy of Lian Bell.
Sunday 26 Aug
I planned to draw a map in chalk on the pavement of the Liberties area of Dublin, by asking passers-by for advice. The Liberties is an old area of the city full of intricate streets which have seen vast development recently and which looks set to continue at a hectic pace. The local community is an eclectic mix of older people, people who’ve lived locally their whole lives, immigrants, students and young professionals moving in to newly built apartment blocks. There is a lot of social housing in the area, with the reputation of being one of the poorest parts of the city centre, as well as having a recognised drug problem. However, parts of the Liberties are being gentrified and local businesses combine traditional markets (Thomas Street and Meath Street) with architecture and design studios, art galleries and antique shops (Thomas Street and Francis Street).
I moved into an apartment on Francis Street recently and don’t know the layout of the area at all well. To draw a map, I’d need a lot of help from passers-by. I was a little worried that if it didn’t work, or if something negative happened I would still be living around the corner. I did an hour of mental preparation before I headed out. It was a warm Sunday afternoon at a busy intersection with a wide pavement. Businesses nearby were open – a video, tanning and internet shop, a bookmakers, two pubs (Fallon’s and Nash’s), a Spar and a gallery.
As soon as I’d written a sign on a sandwich board (Hello. I’m drawing a map of the area. Can you help?) someone stopped and asked what I was doing. A young man living locally who was so enthusiastic about the idea even before I’d opened a box of chalk I was quite surprised. He promised to return later in the afternoon and even to bring me some water.
I drew the opening part of the map: what I could see from the pavement of the intersection and the street signs that were visible. I marked where we were with an X. Though I do know many of the main roads (probably about 15% of the map) and their names, I only wanted to fill in what people told me to, with the spelling mistakes, the warped scale, the missing streets.
Apart from one bathroom break, from about 12.15 to 5.45 I had about four 5 minute breaks – the rest of the time was filled with talking to people, explaining the project and filling out the map. In terms of getting people involved the event was far more successful than I had imagined it would be. People stopped and talked for long periods of time, argued with each other about the layout and names of streets, phoned and texted friends for help, returned through the afternoon, went to get other people to come and help, went to find out the names of streets they had forgotten. There were no negative comments (to me anyway) and the enthusiasm people had for the idea was a little overwhelming.
Attitudes towards the map ranged from puzzle-solving to friendly competition. Some people focuse¬d on how to make sections join up, some wanted to have their street put on it, some wanted to just make sure they added some street or placename to it. Some people sounded concerned with my request for ‘help’, asking if I needed directions. A couple of people offered maps.
All kinds of people stopped – tourists, locals, Dubliners, immigrants, kids, architects, a local historian, a couple of junkies, an alcoholic street artist, students. Irish, French, Swedish, German, Polish, American. Men came back and forth from the two pubs. A passer-by insisted on giving me 5 euro. Someone bought me a coffee. A young man from the bookies and a young woman working in a gallery around the corner came back throughout the afternoon. People chatted to each other around me.
Someone started talking about how there wasn’t enough street art in the area. A woman living in Blackpitts said the council should have a ‘real’ map of the area carved into the pavement – she was always giving directions to people who were lost around the area. Someone suggested varnishing the chalk map to the pavement. Some people were happy for me to cheat the map in the areas where the scale didn’t match up, others got me to rub out bits that were wrong.
The first man came back and talked about doing a version based around disabled access. One woman marked in a local food co-op with its opening times. One kid wrote his name in a corner. A man marked the layout of a local derelict church and an underground river. I gave a couple of boxes of chalk to kids and one to the street artist, who said he liked to draw Vikings and then played Raglan Road on a tin whistle for me.
Art in Ruins is a Providence-based organization that celebrates the city’s postindustrial heritage as a source of creative inspiration. In their mission statement, they express that:
“We at ArtInRuins believe that decay is beautiful, but not necessary. Artists live and work in the buildings that the city or developers have often forgotten, and now that Providence is becoming a hip town (or a suburb of Boston) these buildings and the artists, musicians and businesses who lived and worked in them are getting used for purposes that do not contribute to the community in the same way. We are not against new development, we are only opposed to unsustainable or irresponsible development.”
|Ahmet Öğüt, “The Castle of Vooruit,” 2012.*|
a contemporary city conversation
12 May–16 September 2012S.M.A.K.
B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
T +32 9 240 76 60
|Curated by Philippe Van Cauteren and Mirjam VaradinisTRACK is a unique art experience in the public and semi public space of the city of Ghent. It offers surprising, enriching, and unexpected encounters with the city, its history, and its inhabitants and incites to reflect upon urban realities and the contemporary human condition in a broader sense. Thirty five international artists were invited to conceive new art works that are strongly rooted in the urban fabric of Ghent but link the local context with issues of global significance.
The two curators Philippe Van Cauteren and Mirjam Varadinis took the time to select exemplary locations in the wider city centre of Ghent and invited artists who have an affinity with the thematical context of those places. The selected artists used the local reality as a fertile source of inspiration and the results of their in-depth explorations are not simply traditional works of art, but artistic projects in all different media that embrace the social, economic, cultural, and political conditions of the city and the times we live in. Their works call for participation, interact with the different communities in various ways, and leave permanent traces.
TRACK is conceived as a universe of parallel narrations, occurences and (hi)stories. It consists of six clusters that offer a historical, cultural, architectural, and mental cross-section of Ghent and the idea of a city today. Each cluster has its own distinct atmosphere and touches upon a specific issue like mobility, religion, migration, economy, language, science, and city changes.
TRACK invites the audience to explore the exhibition in various ways. Visitors do not have to follow a given linear trail but are free to choose their own personal TRACK through the clusters and the city. Each visitor thus creates a different kind of narration, based on his or her background and the way they are approaching the exhibition. This free and multi-layered perception corresponds to our globalised world and the idea of plural realities happening at the same time.
TRACK is welcoming everybody to visit the exhibition and to be inspired by the visionary potential of art.
TRACK was initiated by S.M.A.K. It continues the tradition established by the large-scale exhibition projects Chambres d’Amis (1986) and Over the Edges (2000), which installed contemporary art in the context of the city and entered into direct dialogue with the public.
Read the TRACK Manifesto at www.track.be.
You know those people who get really mad if you step and/or kill a bug? Well, they will love the work of Minneapolis’ Carmichael Collective, who created this mini-street installation, A Roach Remembered, with the tagline: “This is a tribute to a cockroach that lived its life to the fullest. 2012 — 2012. RIP little buddy.”
Carmichael Collective is a company based in Minneapolis, Mn that creates projects for the sake of creativity, simple objective right? Using the same idea of plant tags, used to identify and educate about a particular specimen, but using them on everyday sidewalk fixtures we are all familiar with. Apparently from the information on these tags, all these objects are ok in varying degrees of the sun!
At first it’s a platform for laughter, play and utterances of the word “brilliant!”, but Jim Ricks’ Bouncy Dolmen project also points towards a perhaps underutilized tool in the creative mediation of heritage – play and humor. If only giving a whimsical full-body tactile engagement with a somewhat simplified formal representation of the iconic dolmen at Poulnabroune in the Burren Co. Clare, it satisfies some urge for permissible play with our canon of cultural monuments. (More info here: http://www.jimricks.info/bouncydolmen.html)
This of course also brings us to Jeremy Deller’s newest project for London’s Cultural Olympiad – the bouncy Stonehenge which recently made the headlines when it was unveiled in his native Glasgow: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2012/may/02/bouncy-stonehenge-glasgow
Hamburg´s garbagemen create portraits of their city in the Trashcam Project – with their garbage containers. Standard 1.100 litre containers are transformed to giant pinhole cameras. With these cameras the binmen take pictures of their favourite places to show the beauty and the changes of the city they keep clean every day.
The Trashcam Project was developed by Christoph Blaschke, Mirko Derpmann, Scholz & Friends Berlin and the Hamburg sanitation department. Special thanks to Hamburg based photographer Matthias Hewing (www.matthiashewing.de/) for his professional advice and the challenging lab work with the giant negatives.
See images from the project here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetrashcamproject/
Metropolis M No. 1 out now
Metropolis M is totally new: more news, more current events and tips, more attention to the pressing questions in the world of art and design, and more reviews in every issue about the most important exhibitions of the preceding months. All of this in a brand-new design by the Rotterdam design studio, 75B.Future Museum: Public or Private?
What does the future hold for public museums in times of budget cuts? The call for support from private collectors rings loud, but they are increasingly choosing to show their collections in private museums they build themselves. Metropolis M looks at three different positions, from the public Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the private and public collaboration of the Deichtorhallen and the Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, and the completely private Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania. The differences are striking.
Seth Siegelaub’s Textiles Collection
Interview: Patrick Van Caeckenbergh
Sarah van Sonsbeeck
Column: Tirdad Zolghadr
And further (Dutch only):
Metropolis M @ ARCOmadrid
Metropolis M Books
Metropolis M is a bimonthly, bilingual magazine on contemporary art (NL/EN) based in the Netherlands. Metropolis M is available at shops and museums across Europe and can be purchased at our online store.