Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Public Art/Public Space: Art, architecture and everyday life - roundtable discussion at Common Room

Public Art/Public Space
Art, architecture & everyday life

A roundtable discussion at Common Room Networks Foundation
Jl. Kyai Gede Utama no. 8, Bandung, Indonesia
Twitter: @CommonRoom_ID

Common Room Networks Foundation in collaboration with Roma Arts

The roundtable discussion is part of NU Substance festival

21 September 2012, 3pm


  • Roy Voragen – Bandung-based writer and founder of Roma Arts

Public art can take different forms. Firstly, it can take the form of publicly funded statues to signify a coherent narrative of the nation, e.g. statues of national heroes like General Sudirman (when such a narrative of the nation changes then those statues are often taken down, as in the former Soviet countries happened when a great many Lenins and Stalins were symbolically taken down). Secondly, it can take the form, as stipulated by law in some countries, that a certain minimum percentage of the construction budget of large projects should be spend on art. These two forms could, at best, be ways to beautify the city. And a beautiful city can be pleasant, however, it is questionable that these two forms of public art will lead to a more democratic public space. The third form of public art takes the form of fleeting interventions in the city, e.g. installations or graffiti. Often these are considered vandalism (some years ago a work by Tisna Sanjaya was destroyed by the government in Bandung as it was labeled trash). But why isn’t the renovation of the Hotel Indonesia Circle by former governor Gen. Sutiyoso considered vandalism? Can art and architecture influence behavior so that the quality and quantity of democratic public space could improve? Or are we then asking too much of art and architecture?

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