16 - 19 January 2018: Future Academy, vibrARTion conference: China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

Curating in Action: Art as Social Practice

The “social agenda” in many major cities, and particularly in China is congestion and pollution. Creating a sense of place for a community within the hustle & bustle of the public realm has become a real challenge in the 21st century.

Has the role of architecture, which has become increasingly sculptural in form as well as nomenclature, assumed the role of Public Art in contemporary life? Innovation with materials and design accommodate social desires for innovative spaces that address issues of lifestyle and well-being via the ambience of high-quality design. Has architecture become a landmark in ways that was once the domain of Public Art?

If so, where does this position the role and function of Public Art in contemporary life?

I will explore the battle for public art in Toronto with a seminal artwork for the City by Henry Moore, and how the determination and vision of one individual paved the way for a cultural tapestry of public art over the ensuing decades. I’ll also explore how architects such as Renzo Piano have blurred the boundaries between arts practice and architecture, as well as how sculptors work has engaged with the architectural vernacular in urban space, inclusive of community, history, and heritage.

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