According to Alan Gilbert, there is a certain relation between politics and imagination that determine artworks effect on public realm. The gesture of artist makes an artwork shallow, didactic, arrogant or poetic, subtle, sublime, magical. Discussions about transformative experiences and political statement of artworks, during the previous class made me wander the similarities and diversities between the experience of politically and socially engaged artworks and the experience for experience’s sake oriented ones.
The experience of artwork has different dimensions. For public art, The artist experiences it in real time by producing it within his/her own perspective, the audience in the public space experiences it individually or collaboratively by participating, the audience of the documentation of the work, experiences it later on by observing the “actual” participants within a timeless and spaceless context. It can be claimed it is easier to be convinced the transformative or the magical power of experience -if there is one- for someone who directly interacted with it. The interaction itself powerful enough to make someone feel special and important, to feel as a part of something extraordinary in an ordinary life, yet for the one who perceives it through a photograph, video or installation it is harder to do and requires something deeper and sophisticated to relate in that timeless and spaceless moment.
|Joseph Beuys, Ausfegen (Sweeping Up), May 1st, 1972|
Nicolas Bourriaud defines the concept of Relational Aesthethics as " A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space." The common issues that provoke and stimulate an individual in a very primitive way and used by many artists after 1960's such as gender, minority, migration, identity, ethics, labor can be considered as a part of that set. Animal rights, human rights and "right to the city" can be added to them as well. The issues that become medium in the mediumless-ness of contemporary art. They are not the titles of political messages that flow from artist to audience through the artwork, nor life lessons to be taught. They are the motivation behind the artwork that occurs to the artist, the experience and concerns of the artist about something greater than some inner struggles or existentialistic breakdowns. It is not necessarily pessimistic and dark attitude to look over the human kind, but it is a critical eye. It is not something that has been done to change the world and make it a better place but something that people who perceives it can understand and figure out the reasons their ungratefulness’ or gratefulness’ in order to be transformed.