Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

PUBLIC ART - City design: the need for a spatial identity and the role of public art. A semiotic approach. Pipilotti Rist and Bill Viola in Venice

Verena Lenna


As far as the construction of a community’s identity and territory is concerned, the question about the usefulness of a project of public art is a priority in any kind of initiative. Especially when the public dimension makes the intervention subject to ideological manipulations. It is necessary to establish if the potentialities of the work of art are worthy of the risk of its exploitation. I’ll try to answer to this question on one hand stressing the importance of the spatial support in the construction of new territorial identities. On the other hand I’ll specify the ways in which the artistic device can help this process. I'm proposing semiotics as an instrument of control: the reason lays in the communicational value of the artistic project and in its cognitive role in terms of image. The power of image is in its figurative features, but also in the ability of continuously establishing webs of relations, possibly subject to manipulation. Semiotics contributes with the description of values underlay to a specific artistic project, as a deep founding level of its conception: at the same time, it enables us with the possibility to control those meaning distortions which can transform the artistic project in a disaggregating factor.

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