The traditional boundaries between art and architecture are increasingly blurred in work that has been variously described as site-specific art, public art and urban intervention. In art, such work has been variously described as contextual practice, site-specific art, public art, and in architecture, as conceptual design and urban intervention. Art and Architecture redefines such work as ‘critical spatial practice’. Rendell visits works produced by galleries who operate ‘outside’ their physical limits, commissioning agencies and independent curators who support and develop ‘site-specific’ work and collaborative groups who produce various kinds of critical projects from performance art to urban design, asking crucial questions about the nature of public art and about the notion of ‘function’ in art and architecture. Looking back to precedents in land and community art, Rendell discusses a wide range of artists including Andrea Zittel, Jeremy Deller, Anya Gallaccio and Jane Prophet and pioneering work by architects as varied as Lacaton + Vassal, Shigeru Ban and Sarah Wigglesworth.
More than a survey, Art and Architecture draws on concepts from disciplines such as feminism, critical theory and cultural geography to explore the relationships between art, architecture, place, space and site. In the last ten years or so a number of academic disciplines have come together in debates concerning ‘the city’. These discussions around the urban condition have produced an interdisciplinary terrain of ‘spatial theory’ that has reformulated the ways in which space is understood and practiced. Rendell draws on such influential spatial thinkers as Rosi Braidotti, Walter Benjamin, Michel de Certeau, Luce Irigaray, Doreen Massey and Edward Soja, as well as art critics such as Hal Foster, Suzi Gablick and Rosalyn Krauss, to provide starting points for considering the relationship between art and architecture with reference to several different theoretical themes such as ‘the expanded field’, ‘the dialectical image’ and ‘social sculpture’.
Publication Details: Jane Rendell, Art and Architecture: A Place Between, (London: IB Tauris, forthcoming September 2006).