Art and Space: New Boundaries of Intervention

Art and Space: New Boundaries of Intervention

Giulia Crespi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2823-5.ch009
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The duo “art and space” looks very easy to understand: art interacts with spaces, uses spaces, or simply fills spaces. However, starting from this simple consideration, what this chapter would like to propose is a reflection about a kind of art that creates spaces and places instead, expanding the discussion about the interdisciplinary approach of artists to creation. Considering the works of some artists that have made the intervention on spaces one of their prerogatives, the research focuses on the new connections that arise between the artist and the public through these creations. The imagery of Yayoi Kusama, Tomas Saraceno, Anish Kapoor, Cristina Iglesias, Carsten Nicolai, Rudolf Stingel, among others, allows a different perception, most of time asking to the spectator itself an active part in the work of art. The chapter offers a specific case study dedicated to the work of the Dutch artist Krijn de Koning.
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Somehow there are no more boundaries between different disciplines; art, design, architecture, installation, sound and light are all gathered together to conceive a new experience, far beyond the simple contemplation. The examples that will be discussed in the chapter aim to consider how contemporary art has opened up new possibilities, where the communication with the public is not straightforward anymore, but passes through different channels and uses different means and materials. A type of art that is interior and exterior at the same time, reaching beyond the simple intervention on spaces, and generating new ones ready to be experienced in a different way.

This research, then, wants to be a selected recollection of artistic expressions where the relationship between art and space has reached a new level of awareness. The direct participation and interaction of the spectator in the work of art becomes essential to the development of the project and produces unexpected results, which are constantly changing.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Relational Architecture: The term has been created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to describe a particular form of art that involves architecture, where interaction is an essential part of the process of creation. It has a strong derivation from the relational aesthetics theorized by Nicolas Bourriaud. Lozano-Hemmer’s works show a particular interest in the urban architecture structures to be experienced with an interactive approach.

Ready-Made: This term indicates an object, which already has a particular function and meaning and acquires a new one. Originating from the French word Objet trouvé , it was used by Marcel Duchamp to indicate his practice of taking an ordinary object, like a urinal, for example, and making it into a piece of art to be exhibited inside a museum with the title Fountain .

Minimal-Art: It is an artistic tendency that started in the early 1960s, which is characterized by a predominance in every discipline of regular and geometrical shapes and monochromatic tones. Some of the most important representatives of Minimal art are: Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Daniel Buren.

New Media Art: It is an artistic tendency that has grown with the advent of technology applied to art in the late 1980s and early 1990s. New media art encompasses a large range of movements: video art, net art, installations, happenings, interactive art, videogames. Although it has experienced particularly strong growth during the last two decades, its origin can be found in the 1960s with the diffusion of video as a mean of creation.

Land-Art: It is an artistic tendency intervening directly on landscapes. Nature becomes the canvas, and natural elements, such as rock, sand, soil, and organic components become the materials used for the creations. Some of the most important exponents of this movement are Richard Long, Walter de Maria, Robert Smithson, and Richard Serra.

Environmental Art: It is a term defining a large range of artistic creations. It can be associated with art that is about nature, with art that uses natural elements, with art that intervenes on nature, and with art that has ecological concerns motivating it.

Site-Specific: It literally means specific to a site. Within the art realm this definition is used to define a work of art which is specifically conceived and produced for a specific site and place. It then adapts to that exact space, modelling itself around it.

Aesthetic of Simulation: This term is strictly linked to new media art production. It is a particular tendency where the simulation of an alternate or virtual reality is the main feature of the work of art.

Immersive Environment: It usually describes an environment where every sense is called to participate. Thanks to the use of sound, light, and visuals the spectator finds himself caught inside a complete experience.

Arte Povera: It is an artistic movement that originated in Italy during the 1960s. Its main characteristic consists in the use of “poor” materials to produce pieces of art. Combining aspects of minimalism, performance art and processual art, this tendency also has a political motivation, trying to subvert the commercial world of art. Some of the most important exponents of Arte Povera are Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz, Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Alighiero Boetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, and Gilberto Zorio.

Aesthetic of Interaction: It is a particular inclination of producing works of art where the interaction between the artist and the public becomes the crucial part in the creation process.

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