The Extendable Museum: Art Prosthetics Overlaid on the Natural and Urban Environments in the First Granada Millennium Biennale Event

By Belén Mazuecos and Ana Garcia-Lopez.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 27, 2014 $US5.00

Some of the features of recent artistic creation, such as the hybridisation of languages and the interdisciplinarity and diversification of materials, have led it to expand beyond the traditional and approved repositories of art (museums and galleries) and spill out into a proliferation of alternative, non-specific spaces. The aim of this paper is to analyse the strategies developed by artists for using modern art to intervene in social spaces, i.e. natural or urban environments. This is the legacy of Arte Povera (Italy, 1967), Land Art (UK and USA, 1969), and Polish artist Jan Swidzinski's Manifesto of Art as Contextual Art (Poland, 1976), which identified a new art category encompassing artistic creations overlaid on the real world. The methodology we use to study examples of different artistic projects embedded in the environment or born out of direct experimentation with nature or the built environment, showcased as part of the “First Granada Millennium Biennale: Contemporary Art and Heritage 2011” event held in Granada (Spain) in November and December 2011, will enable us to identify two diametrically opposed art approaches: the desire to meddle with the landscape (using strategies such as colonisation or domestication) and the need to blend into the real environment (using simulacrum or camouflage). These two approaches create two types of artistic output: “prosthetics,” which distort the context and cause feelings of strangeness in the viewer (the projects by Enrique Radigales, Geraldo Zamproni, and Abraham Manzanares), and “appendages” in perfect symbiosis with the real world (the projects by Francisco López, Simon Beckman, and Visitación Ortega and Luis Ángel López Diezma).

Keywords: Public Art, Contemporary Art Biennial, Heritage Communication

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 8, Issue 2, August 2014, pp.27-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 27, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 756.154KB)).

Dr Belén Mazuecos

Vice Dean of Culture, Professor, Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Dr. Ana Garcia-Lopez

Vice Dean for Institutional Relationship and Exchange Programs, Professor, Drawing Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Granada, Granada, Spain