K. Kolodziejczyk
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018


Artistic installation understood as art in a public space today constitutes a visually attractive method of healing and new characterization of aesthetically degraded places and landscapes, deprived of their cultural sense. Such works, created in the existing public space, by adding other contexts and symbolic meanings construct a completely new quality of a place, generate emotional sensations and experiences referring to the context of a place, the history of one’s ancestors and cultural heritage. An analysis of selected realisations clearly indicates that an artistic installation perceived as a visual activity in a public space, is methodologically and technically based on previous identification and interpretation of the spirit of the place (genius locci), and as such an activity it could become an instrument used for projecting a forgotten or hidden past, restituting one’s own cultural heritage in the social memory. It can be confirmed by such creations recorded in the public space as the famous arrangement of preserved relics of the house of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, designed by Venturi and Rauch, realised in 1976, whose non-existent above-ground form was outlined in the form of a steel openwork skeleton – a phantom of the building; or a series of phenomenal steel-wire sculptures by a young Italian artist, Eduardo Tresoldi, evoking virtually realistic forms of non-existing historic buildings in the public space. Another well-known example is the artistic installation on the Bohaterów Getta Square in Krakow in the form of 70 chairs sculpted in metal, symbolically commemorating victims of the Holocaust. Those results prove the significance of artistic installation as a specific spatial token which can also be a transmitter of concrete content associated with the site of its location. In modern public space there exist numerous historic sites which, as a consequence of various transformations, have been deprived of artefacts characteristic for them, and thus the current image makes the cultural identification of the site practically impossible. In a situation when relics of those artefacts preserved in various forms (most frequently archaeological stratigraphy), cannot be exhibited for technical or doctrinal reasons, an artistic installation can become an efficient tool – transmitter of the spirit of the place.

Keywords: artistic installation, public space, genius loci, cultural heritage, social memory

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