text and image roberto voorbij
At the Utrecht CASCO does currently the artist Can Altay investigate the given of public art. The various parties involved are offered by this Turkish artist a platform to respond and intervene. Art in the public space is hereby presented in different cases, whereby for example the contrast and overlap is exposed between the decision of placement and the actual living with a public artwork. In a dossier on the sculpture at the Neude square ‘Thinker on a Rock’ by Barry Flanagan, can for instance be read that the placing of this statue was preceded by the possibility for the inhabitants of Utrecht to vote for their favorite. However, an included dialogue with a local bar owner gives little evidence of binding with this work. Not to mention a poetic sensibility for it. Also appears there an unintended Duchampian redefinition in the dealing with this work. Instead of an aesthetic or meaningful work of art, the sculpture is treated as a functional utensil. Or for placing bicycles against it, or as an information column.
Before the exhibition closes on July 10, there is still the assertion and discussion planned ‘COHAB’ EVENT 2: ‘SEEMINGLY PERMANENT THING ASSERTED’ on June 25, which focusses on the “duality between the act of placing a monument or permanent sculpture versus more temporary interventions in public space”. After July 10 the project will proceed in September with a performance, whereby on a playing field simultaneously three different sports are played. The artist gave me as an explanation that the thereby occurring interaction with each others rules, can be interpreted as a metaphor for society and the mixing of different systems of rules and laws in our daily existence…
Can Altay – COHAB: an assembly of spare parts (2011).