10 / 10 / 2016


The Question: How (from your experience and perspective) do artistic practices create public sphere?

Let us suppose that the point of view and experience are given. What is interesting is that this part of the question is in brackets. We will take it that that is the body of the person speaking and the brackets are its exterior configuration. We will also take it that we understand artistic practices in all their complexity and variety. What is perhaps a little more complex is the term “the public sphere”, and that is perhaps where artistic practices could have something to say. If the sphere resembles something like this (he holds up an object in the shape of a sphere), absolutely smooth, something well-finished, one could face the problem of slipping and not managing to hold on well. Perhaps what the sphere is proposing is a fall, that is, an impossibility of holding on. And also a certain obstacle to being able to get inside, because as it is something so homogeneous and so complete, it is sometimes hard to find a way in. So, the first question that is posed to the artist is: why not a public cube instead of a public sphere? Or rather than a public cube, why not a public pyramid? The public pyramid has connotations of other ages, other times in history, which could pose a problem as there is a referent that is too important behind it. So, the artist could say: perhaps instead of a public sphere there could be a public hexahedron – and why not a dodecahedron? A dodecahedron would be even better than even a tridecahedron or a tetradecahedron. A public dodecahedron could make more sense because it has edges and we could perhaps hold onto the edges. And it has faces where we could perhaps stay. Or places that we could perhaps point to and that might in some way serve as points of references. It would be a place that would not be the same all the time, where there would be different parts, where there would be positions where some could be on one side and others on another. The public dodecahedron could be a starting point for understanding the extent to which art could help to reconsider what we understand as public.

Artistic practices contribute to generating the public sphere – although I have the impression that this is a question of small spheres. Like ping-pong balls.

A big social diameter is not covered, instead each practice enters into contact with quite small areas of reality. To the extent that there are more small groups, communities, circles. To the extent that more is produced (experiences, practices, artistic projects), it would be possible to cover greater zones of social reality.

In general, the scope of artistic works is in itself limited… but it must have a public intention and it can make a defence of the public from a political point of view.

It’s not always like that, but without doubt it can be like that.