Saturday, 15 August 2009

Public Art, just not for the public

From Chicago's pride, the Millenium Park, comes a cruel, yet fascinating, story of public art gone wrong.
BOTH of the public sculptures it opened recently, one by the Van Berkel atelier, and the other by Zaha Hadid, got damaged by the all-too-loving public.
Looks quite nice from above, doesn't it? If you go to ground level, it's even more inspiring. Here's a look at Hadid's work:

The entire structure, made of aluminum, is covered with cloth. Now let's take a look inside this spaceship.

Get the picture?
Not so difficult to imagine people stepping on the cloth.
One of the key statements of the manifesto of a group of artists presenting the exhibition Unusually Rare Events is that the artist does not need to think about the spectator when creating the work. Agreed. However, when creating a public work of art (mind you, to some extent any work of art is public), he might want to consider that his work will possibly not only be appreciated like this:

but also like this:

And those, of course, are the "nice" visitors.
The question arises: should we stay with "public-proof" solutions? Hire teams of guards to keep the aura going? Or maybe consider every mark and hole as part of the (pardon the pun) holistic concept of the work of art?

Now I wonder how these marvellously designed shoes by Zaha Hadid feel:
Not to mention the London Aquatics Centre, to be one of the main venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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