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The Aesthetic Function of Public Art is to Codify Social Distinctions as Natural Ones

Beech, Dave and Hewitt, Andy and Jordan, Mel (2005) The Aesthetic Function of Public Art is to Codify Social Distinctions as Natural Ones. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Beech, Dave and Hewitt, Andy and Jordan, Mel

‘The Aesthetic Function…’ was a vinyl banner produced for Gavin Wade’s ‘Strategic Questions’ project at the Venice Biennale, 8 June - 6 November 2005. Located at the Ponte dei Barcaroli, on the Calle dei Frutariol, San Marco district, on two sides of a bridge, one in English, one in Italian. The banner was part of The Functions series, which opens up new spaces for politicized public art, reclaiming those public sites colonized by bureaucracy and big business, advertising and promotion. Its direct political mode of address is an invitation for the art viewer and passer-by to be transformed into a politicized citizen. ‘The Aesthetic Function…’ was the last of a series of works that occupied public sites to contest the role and function of art while demonstrating its own utopian version of art’s political potential. It is integral to each of these works that they are both sited in specific public spaces and available as reproducible print (posters, postcards, etc). The work was included in PS1 Venice Interviews: Public Art at the Venice Biennale.

Other works in the series are:

‘The Economic Function of Public Art is to Increase the Value of Private Property’ billboard text, commissioned by Ixia in Sheffield, subsequently shown as part of EAST International 2006.

‘The Social Function of Public Art is to Subject Us to Civic Behaviour’, commissioned by VITRINE, ‘Situations Leeds’, Leeds 2005.

‘The Neo-Imperialist Function Of Public Art Is To Clear A Path For Economic Expansion’ commissioned by Gavin Wade for the Second Guangzhou Triennial, ‘BEYOND: an extraordinary space of experimentation for modernisation’ curated by Hou Hanru (Guo Ziaoyan) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (D-Lab).

‘The Function Of Public Art For Regeneration Is To Sex-Up The Control Of The Under-Classes’, commissioned by B+B for the exhibition ‘Six Easy Steps’ at the ICA London 2005.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Research Centres No Longer Active > International Centre for Fine Art Research (ICFAR)
Date: 8 June 2005
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:29
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 15:02
Item ID: 1037
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1037

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