Public Art in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic: series of lectures

Urban Atmospheres and Public Art in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic. 4EU+ project of researchers based at Charles University, University of Warsaw, and University of Milan.

A lecture on the aesthetic concept of atmosphere, an art project presentation, and an online workshop on public art will take place in Prague and online. The events are part of a 4EU+ project titled “Public Art in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic”, which is carried out by researchers affiliated to Charles University, University of Warsaw, and University of Milan. The project's aim is to set up a research group of scholars in aesthetics coming from the universities participating in 4EU+ alliance and to lay the basis for future educational collaborations.

On September 22, 2021, Adam Andrzejewski (University of Warsaw) will give a public lecture titled “Atmospheres, Urban Sites, and Metaphysics” at Dům U Minuty in Prague. He will focus on the concept of atmosphere, which was claimed to be “the fundamental concept of a new aesthetics” by Gernot Böhme, and suggests that better understanding of the metaphysics of atmosphere will provide us with a more powerful concept to think about aesthetics of urban locations and cities.

His lecture will be followed by a presentation of a public art event “Malleable Memory” which took place in Pardubice in Fall 2020. The event will be introduced by its curator, Šárka Zahálková, who serves as a programme director of GAMPA Gallery in Pardubice. She will complement Adam’s lecture by pursuing the concept of urban atmosphere in practice.

The meeting at Dům U Minuty will be followed, a day later, i.e. on September 23, 2021, by an online workshop “Public Art in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic”, where works-in-progress of the research group will be discussed. Adam Andrzejewski and Marta Maliszewska (University of Warsaw) will present a paper titled “Rural Public Art” which aims at analyzing the role of public art in rural areas in Poland. “Our investigation is initiated by the intuition that in inhabited rural areas that are lacking public institutions (that is, where almost every space is privately owned), public art could play a significant role as a means of prompting to create public space in a proper sense,” explains Adam. "We suggest that public art in inhabited rural areas affects space differently than public art in urban areas, where it primarily modifies already existing public space.”

Andrea Borghini and Nicola Piras (University of Milan) will present their work “Eating Local as Public Art?” In it, they defend the thesis that dining and cooking can be considered as forms of public art. “What we are primarily interested in, in this paper, is how the functions traditionally ascribed to public art are being fulfilled by different ways of construing and implementing the concept of cooking and eating locally, so prominent in food culture today,” says Andrea Borghini. “We explore specific case studies of local food providers in Italy, framing them as memorial art, as social protest art, and as art that enhances, building on previous work I did with Prof. Andrea Baldini of Nanjing University.

Tereza Hadravová and Sabrina Muchová (Charles University in Prague) in their paper titled “Speed up or Slow down. On Temporality of Public Art” want to draw attention to temporal aspects of (some) public artworks. They suggest that by paying attention to mutual relations of temporal features of works and places they are displayed at, we may better understand when public art is found valuable and when it seems to fail. "The spark to our discussions was given by the fact that “public art” is usually translated into Czech as “umění ve veřejném prostoru”, i.e., literally, as “art in public space”. That made us interested in temporal aspects of public art. We want to suggest that a lot of contemporary public art is more about time than about space, so to speak,” says Hadravová.

Both the lecture plus presentation, which take place on Wednesday 22nd, and the workshop, which is held online on Thursday 23rd, are open to the public.

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Event start 22 September 2021
Event end 23 September 2021
Event website