Author(s): Claire Doherty
The face of public art is changing. For decades, art in the public realm has been characterized by the landmark sculpture or spectacular outdoor event that helps to define and distinguish a specific place or community. But in recent years, a new wave of international artists and producers has rejected the monumental scale and mass appeal of such iconic and permanent works. Instead, these individuals and groups favour unconventional forms that unsettle rather than authenticate a sites sense of identity; disrupt rather than embellish a particular location; and contest rather than validate the design and function of the public sphere. Performative interactions, collective activities and smallscale subversive acts are just some of the unorthodox approaches these artists take. Often short-lived in impact and modest in effect, their works challenge preconceived ideas about the role of art in place-making as they seek to remake places through intervention, displacement, disorientation and occupation. Public Art Now: Out of Time, Out of Place is the first highly illustrated survey of the most influential new forms from the past decade that are redefining the practice of public art today. Some forty key projects from around the world are organized into four sections Intervention, Displacement, Disorientation and Occupation with detailed descriptions and dozens of installation and process shots. Interviews and quotes from practitioners, commissioners and commentators reveal the impetus and context for each project, while a comprehensive introduction sets out the conceptual, practical and ethical issues raised by the work. Spanning the various ephemeral and permanent art forms that constitute public art now, from performance and video to installation and sculpture, this dynamic combination of projects, places and people is both a must-have reference book for artists, curators, commissioners and art-world specialists, and an accessible introduction for newcomers to the subject.