P.53 certainly site-specific art can lead to the unearthing of repressed histories, help provide greater visibility to marginalized groups and issues, and initiate the (re) discovery of “minor” places so far ignored by the dominant culture. But inasmuch as the current socioeconomic order thrives on the (artificial) production and (mass) consumption difference (for difference sake), the sitting of art in “real” places can also be a means to extract the social and historical dimensions of these places in order to variously serve the thematic drive of an artist, satisfy institutional demographic profiles, or fulfill the fiscal needs of a city. It is within this framework, in which art serves to generate a sense of authenticity and uniqueness of a place for quasi promotional agendas, that I understand the goals of city based international art programs like “sculpture. Projects in münster 1997.”
P.72 (quote by Richard Serra, about federal plaza public work)
There seems to be in this country [United states] right now, especially in sculpture, a tendency to make work which attends to architecture. I am not interested in work which is structurally ambiguous, or in sculpture which satisfies urban design principles. I have always found that to be not only an aspect of mannerism but a need to reinforce a status quo of existing aesthetics...I am interested in sculpture which is non utilitarian, non functional... any use is a misuse.
John Ahearn’s south Bronx project
P.84 Ahearn imagined a continuity rather than a rupture between his sculptures and the social life of the neighborhood where the works were to be displayed and to which they “belonged”.
How do I belong? How and where does my art belong? How does coming from a place of insecurity fit into this? How can I fight that? I want to belong to the right world.
P. 89 even though some art critics judged these wall works and other cast pieces to be overly sentimental, and even though the artist himself worked at times that they were too much like folk art, as long as the work made his neighbors “happy”, Ahearn thought of them as achieving more meaningful and difficult goals than what is usually expected of an artwork. In his words, the ‘discipline of happy’ is just as important as the discipline of ‘ strong’ or ‘ tough,’ and the cast sculptures made to please a neighbors are “purer than something with too much of myself in it, something individual.”
Audience / site / public / community / belonging
*** P.95 but a central objective of community based site specificity is the creation of a work in which members of a community - as simultaneously viewer/spectator, audience, public, and referential subject - will see and recognize themselves in the work, not so much in the sense of being critically implicated but of being affirmatively pictured or validated.
P.105 unlike much of what has heretofore been called public art, new genre public art - visual art that uses both traditional and non traditional media to communicate and interact with a broad and diversified audience about issues directly relevant to their lives - is based on engagement.
Engagement in the primarily the making or the playing with it after?
P.105 “Culture in Action” (Chicago 1993) affirmed (Suzanne) Lacey’s claim that “what exists in the space between the words public and art is an unknown relationship between artist and audience, a relationship that may itself be the artwork.” Note 21
In public (Seattle, 1986) -> Culture in Action 1993 (cast the community as the authority figure, privileging its role in the collaborative artistic partnerships forged by the program.) -ephemeral processes of interaction between local participants and the artists.
P.106 “drawing on ideas from van guard forms” - ie, installation, performance, conceptual art, mixed media art, new genre public art - “adds a developed sensibility about audience, social strategy, and effectiveness that is unique to visual art as we know it today.” In so doing, it shifts the focus from artist to audience, from object to process, from production to reception and emphasizes the importance of a direct, apparently unmediated engagement with particular audience groups (ideally through shared authorship in collaborations).
P.153 major reconceptualization of the “community”
French philosopher Jean Luc Nancy: “there is no communion, there is no common being, but there is being in common. Community is neither a community of subjects, nor a promise of immanence, nor a communion of individuals in some higher or greater totality… it is not, most specifically, the product of any work or project; it is not work, not a product of projected labor, nor oeuvre, but what is un-worked, dés-oeuvré
P.158 Lippard presents a sense of place as therapeutic remedy: sense of place is “the geographical component of the psychological need to belong somewhere, one antidote to a prevailing alienation.” Note 7
Lippard also incorporates aspects of the Marxist analysis of the production of space. She begins, for instance, from the basic premise that space is not a neutral container or void within which social interactions take place but rather an ideological product and instrument in itself.
Don DeLillo, Two act play - Valaparaiso (1999)