A "natural" reencounter


edited by Santiago Caprio

Far from representative and propagating goals

The city is a historical and geographical reality, socio-cultural, even political, human concentration and diverse (urbs), provided identity or common guideline and vocation of self-government (civitas, polis), defines Borja1.

Borja, as good geographer and urban planner, understands that the city is conditioned by its geographical support, these are the natural conditions of their location and by the resources that can explode, which in turn determine their role over other cities, overlapping so the system built on the natural system.

Also recognizes its historical existence as evidenced by the presence of buildings, spaces and rules of previous periods which influence the present, and also considers the city a social reality cultural and political.

This means that for each historical moment are a society that lives in the city, and transforms it from certain rules about shared values and from standards set in accordance with the common interests of its time.

Since the ancient times monuments and memorials have been present in public spaces, emphasizing the centrality of important sacral and secular places. However, the public sculptures primarily served representative and propagating goals. The notion 'public art', as an alternative to elite gallery art, emerged in 1960s, and its aim was to revitalize urban space.

That is why the city needs to rebuild its balance with nature. But not from legislation but from the individual. A "natural" reencounter, with it, where it grows a sense of belonging, where legitimate artistic expression has much to contribute.

On metropolitan urban scene, new elements constantly emerge, claiming the status of public art, like: urban furniture, lighting, multimedia, graffiti and even commercial art.

Anna Januchta-Szostak said ten year ago, determining the role of public art requires considering fashions and trends which have influenced it throughout various periods, intersecting with performance art, conceptual art, installation art, land art, process art, community-based art, and site-specific art, attempting to have their work communicate with common people about socially relevant themes without being imprisoned by aesthetic values.

1 Jordi Borja Sebastià is a geographer, urban planner, politician and president of the Observatori DESC -Economic, social and cultural rights of Barcelona