The Inter Relations Between Sculpture and Architecture - El Espacio Raptado
Nicholas Socrates 2008Analysis; El Espacio Raptado, by Javier MaderueloJavier Maderuelo in El Espacio Raptado, analyzes the rich volumesof “interferences” that have taken place between architecture andsculpture from beginnings of the decade of the Sixties.A renewed interest is initiated to locate the fine arts within theframework of architecture, with a purpose of knowing andestablishing new concepts within both disciplines – interrelated.Sleepy Sculpture since the glorious times of Ancient Greece, hasbeen waking up, during this century, revitalizing certain aspectsrelated to the architectural language.The common rediscovery of the interrelationship of Architectureand sculpture is generating a series of rich relationships andinterests between the two disciplines;A revolution of the arts is activated.Discovering affinities in the intentions and procedures that lead tothe convergence of new borders between architecture andsculpture.This no-mans land between the two borders of the movements ofarchitecture and sculpture, are constantly being transgressedwith an interchange of techniques and experiences.Connecting the physical and conceptual spaceThe placed forms keep us awake to the changing nature of todaysart.Architecture, other-than-consciously, is inspired and interested inthe world of fine art,Sculptures overflowing in their scale occupying comparablevolumes to those buildings around it have a defendant architecturalcharacter.
They use their own geometry to the architecture.Their External forms and elements are taken from the constructionof buildings.The strategies of simulation and reconstruction techniques used bythe architecture and the simultaneous sculpture areinterchangeable in such a way that, the works seem to belong to asame formal family and ideological position.Instead of the sculptures being a model of itself, they areconstructed, and made with architectural materials like bricks, steelprofiles & reinforced concrete.The near space, geometry, the scale, the materials and even thetechniques and the procedures, of the sculpture; and its new spaceproposals, developed in the sculpture, are conditionally formal andconceptually - the same as architectural expositions and creations.Extending to the area being developed on urban scales -Definitively they talk the space of architecture;Its forms, functionality and anthropomorphist frame.The high technological development in glass and steel and othermaterial over the last ten years is an important factor for this surgeof modern architecture.The architects, thanks to these new materials, like concrete, steel,glass and plastic, have been able to free themselves of the heavywalls of load and are able to control the three-dimensional space insimilar ways to the making of sculptures.Only at this point in history modernism in its pure form anddissolution of materiality can be fully realized.These latest developments make it possible to design and buildbuildings which the modernists had envisioned and dreamed aboutin the early phase of modernism, but did not have the technology toactually build buildings which could be so sleek and almosttranslucent.Hans Ibelings, labels these contemporary works of minimal form,minimal material, and minimal character as “Supermodern.”Mies van der Rohe’s building vision of glass tower high risebuildings, conceived in the early part of the century, for theFriedrichstrasse in Berlin, could only be realized 70 years later.
Also buildings as the ‘Bibliotheque Nationale’ in Paris by DominiquePerrault, the ‘Fondation Cartier’ by Jean Nouvel or the Louvrepyramid by the Amercian architect Pei – are a few examples.What has the architecture and the sculpture of previous years havein common?The similarities, and distinguishes and their causes of bothdisciplines continue to maintain their own character.In the past, sculpture has always been imbued with the traditionalforms of the architecture.A same style, was common to both works, complementing eachother, in the monumental missionThe functional union towards these works acquired a dominantspace effect.Many of these sculptures lose their force when are uprooted fromtheir primitive location to be located in museums,the sculptural work was thought and realised based on theenvironmental urban space or of the specific place, which gives asense of unity, also taking its own essence as well.A good part of the sculpture of this century is not figurativeAbstract art can be considered the most representative art of thiscenturyWith the Intention to be pure art.An expression of the artists feelings.Or the aesthetical experience of the observer.Sculpture is the expression of an identity,expressing its beauty through the connection of life & form.It’s the creation of a prototype in every new work.The concentrated quintessence of the cityOpening up a perspective allowing us to understand the socialcontruction of the art.The public sculpture has to be open, usefull and common.The public sculpture represents the search for a cultural history;With certain social functions.
With a shared reference and an experience of collective values fromits own aesthetics.Each work existing according to the different configurations andmaterials related to the industrial processes with which these worksare elaborated.Overlapping and mixing dissimilar fragments, form possibilities ofmetaphorical suggestions.Extracting an eternity of transitory, archetypal and futuristic forms;offering new readings that serve the reality.Maintaining humanities state of creative uncertainty against theapparent security of the normative state of the art.waking up the imagination of the viewer that hungers them tofollow their life until the end of this exciting adventure.Art always offers us a story of how each city/ area sees its self inrelation to its era and its physical enviroment. Speaking of thestrength of the culture.The qualities and virtues of a space, respond to and, are summedup by the art work.The art work becomes symbolic for the collective.The quality of the space understood by the whole: A strongimportant symbolic space.Public art, now integrated in the collective experience, becomes avalue of social interaction and communication.Creating a pleasure and commercial centre with extensive areas forrecreation and peace.When seen from two different disciplines; they try to have adiscussion on the space of the same physical place that is formedbetween both.placed in a plane of equality with the architecture;sculpture wants to compare its self with the architecture.It does not compete with the architecture, nor tries to occupy itsdominos: simply they try to compare themselves,The relationship between both arts cannot be specified in terms ofcomparison - to understand the concept, it is necessary to perceivethe poetic placings of the physical manifestations.
Sculptures, with the qualities of “presence” have been able todominate on majors scales.trying to obtain that the work manages to be centre of attention toits spectators - the presence quality is not a new discovery.resources are used to accentuate the centralising of a powerfulcentre that, like a magnet, is able to attract the glances of thespectator.Specific geometry characterized to minimalist works acquires aforceful and specific physical presence.In some ancient cases/ periods the public sculpture is used as apower demonstration;In front of the enermy, and as a threat, also for a symbol ofstrength in front of their own people. This is the case of theEgyptian & Aztec temples and pyramids.The predominance of the monument, in classical & neoclassicalsculptural & architectural, arise in the city like an imposition ofpower; demonstrated with commemorative reinforcements of theexhalation of saints and celebrities;the raising of the human figure like the supreme subject.It is the power of supposed political, military or cultural victories,or based on a being, of ontological permanence, of an incarnatedobjective beauty; establishes a dialogue union between monumentand city, so that history and the public, through art, does not forgetthe figure and name of that personality of power.The construction of museums at the end of the XVIII century allowsthe access to people for the contemplation of these collections.Within the continually maintained walls of the museum, there is acertain private air.The museum is like a support, a shop window, where by the artist“installs” his plastic workAn “architectural installations” contents share similar ideas.The painting of representational spaces took a radical turn in theage of the cubist movement; the possibility of not having torepresent reality, emanated from the first experiments of abstractpainting.Almost simultaneously, architecture too changed dramatically,
sculpture followed.In the Sixties sculpture overflows the container of the museum orthe gallery of art to invade the public space.The sculpture conquers great sizes,It recovers the place, seizing a meaningful capacity.Taking art out of the galleries into the public domain,With the motivation to transform and to enrich.Public art can live in natural parks, parks in the city, libraries,hospitals, streets, squares, plazas, housing estates, public buildings,shopping centres, airports,A very wide context.Anywhere where people work, live and take their leisure.Public art can take on many different forms and shapes;Small sculptures, big sculptures, murals, paintings, street furniture,buildings, fountains, bridges and arches, communication towers,signalling systems, sport infrastructures…Also in the Sixties, sculpture and architecture begin to happen asone continued series of interferences, covering an extensive fan ofpossibilities.The conquest of the functionality of the sculpture; its interferencein the field of the architecture is realised in the beginning of theSeventies, whose mission is to alter the space and to transform itinto its perceptual content, emphasizing, its unsuspectedparticularitities.“The function of the sculpture consists of seizing and occupyingthe space,” Carl Andre.Is it justified for its function?The function(s) of art in urban space exist regardless of the artisticcreational intention.Public art has different functions; 1. to commemorate 2. to improve the visual landscape 3. to help economic regeneration – through tourism and investment 4. to help artistic and cultural regeneration
5. to identify a community 6. to help people manage a public space 7. to improve public quality of lifeAn ornamental boost; “All is valid”Public art, working in relation with the rich surroundingarchitecture and landscape, where space is created and themeasurement of time is curved and is transmuted.the recreation of spaces, is similar to that inside an art museum.Thinking about public art and its integration into urban spacesWhat do we consider to be art?And what do we/ can we not consider art?Not all art located in a public space is public art.Public art, generally speaking, in its traditional, generic sense is anartwork placed in a public space, which is ordered, paid andproperty of the state.There it is conceived and achieved according to a set environment.A specific type of art, placed in open public space, whose destiny isthe eternity of non specialized citizens in contemporary art.It is not a style and it develops regardless of forms or the materialsand scales.Public art, when used in its universal sense, includes many differentpossibilities; Being public art existing against private art - carried out and placed by private initiative, which is paid by all. Art in public spaces, private initiative art or semi-public art, which includes corporate art. Art in space and public use, in spaces which have a public function. The artwork is private or has a semi-public nature.“Urban place is a place of objects…things made – and between theobjects & the work of art there is a hierarchy difference;
a difference in the quality, the value – but always within the samecategory or the same series.” 1Urban spaces can be defined as in a series of graduations betweenpublic & private.Art in urban spaces is making up an urban phenonomen.Public art is made for the citizens & is located in his/ herenvironment.“Works of art” – being monuments or moving objects – make up theenvironmental fabric of modern life.There is always a close relationship between art and the city;Man and his physical environment created by himself – being areflection of man (who created it), whilst simultaneouslyinfluencing him and his behaviour.The city has always been a setting where the cultural manifestationsof each historic period have met. An essential aspect for thedefinition of the city.Its image transforms itself due to different social, political andeconomic situations.The city being an ever-evolving work of art.Urban art is an integrated art in urban spaceEnvironmental art is an art closely linked to the environment.Art in the landscape is found in gardens and rural environmentsIn each of these cases - the function and relationship is establishedwith/ by its environment; to the public will vary significantly.In rural civilisations public art does happen and has a very complexsocial strategy.There are always differentiating controlling functions of art, whichare always present, but with predominant aspects in differentstages.The concept of public art is closely linked with that of public space“a common ground where people carry out the functional activitiesand rituals that bind a community, whether it is in their normaldaily routines, or the periodic festivities.”1 Argan G.C, historia de la ciudad como historia del arte,
WAA, Public Space. Cambridge University Press USA 1992All public art becomes a part of the visual culture.There are different types of urban spaces.The re-use of abandoned or neglected or under used areas becomesapparent.As public life develops with the culture – new spaces are needed,and older ones remain discarded or inactivated.Cultural action, through cultural programs, can activate determinedspaces.The positioning of the sculpture must be appropriate according tothe different placings on the urban geographypreserving the cultural and environmental heritage.Ramonede Josep, “Comunicacion”. La Vanguardia 30. 12. 1994“at present public space can be equally ‘Las Ramblas’, as some bigstores, a park and a football ground, the street, and a big disco.”All spaces except for those strictly private can be considered publicspaces.An ideal space is supportive, democratic and meaningful.a sculpture healthily integrated with the urban environment.is the art work which is part of the architectural fabric.or has it been placed there in relation to internal or externalarchitectural spaces?Public art, in the past, is sometimes critized for being: half-hearted,or inappropriate.It can be considered as a decorative after thought;“from bad to worse”, or “the turd in the plaza”.Kapoor, the artist of the tremendous Cloud Gate Sculpture situatedin Chicago’s Millennium Park, explained that what is often meant bythe label public art is more closely related to a decoration in frontof a building rather than a genuine consciousness of space. ToKapoor, this misunderstanding has always been a challengebecause, in most cases, the art object made for a public place isplanned as an independent entity. The relation between artistic
creation, the architecture and environment is not taken intoaccount. According to Kapoor, the conception of a public artworkmust be connected to issues concerning the space outside andshould not be confined to the object itself.Interdisciplinary is necessary to therefore observe these works froma multiple perspectives.The efforts aim at the encountering a common space exposing ashared sensitivity.Milizzia set three basic principles for art in public spaces; 1. They have to be significiant and expressive. 2. With a simple structure. 3. With a clear and brief interpretation.From the moment in which the architect plans the presence ofpublic art in the space – the aesthetic and the strategic value that itrequires has to be considered and its implications for theenviroment.Public art contributes to the collective visual quality and convertsspaces into places for people - distinguishing an urban space andproviding an identity - contributing to creating pleasantenvironments.The possibility of such a profound transformation of space dependson the artist/ architect having taken physical and environmentalfactors into context.Integration of various disciplines: psychology, anthropology,planning, architecture, fine art, contemporary art - and theirimplicated areas of responsibility - political and bureaucratical;All contribute to the attainment of sound and foreseeable results.The process of artistic creation of public work should be similar tothat followed and performed in an architectural project, in the wayin which, it can be changed accordingly to others varying needs andrequirements.There is a fine line between public art and architecture.The artists projects are placed in the spaces created and modifiedby the architect.
The space produced by the artist is inscribed and operates in thearchitectural space.Artists are to be included in the conception of architectural forms,at an environmental level: Environmental configuration by Artisticintervention at the creational stage.The sculpture preferably is developed in the space. It takes part inthe construction & reconstruction of the territory, and too on theurban planning.Integral art in the environment becomes a generating focus inn theurban space.The integration of public art depends on the interaction that itmaintains with the environment & with the perception one has of itThe integration of public art, in a specific context, referred to by itsform, by the individual and the community - and their level ofacceptance and appreciation of it.(Light and sound are the two fundamental aspects that exertstimulus in human beings).Integrating environmental stimulation and aesthetic experience.And how does it affect the use of the space? What are the publicsneeds?It is important to define these questions as a part of its conception.The publics needs and wishes are considered and worked integrallywith the aesthetic and stylistic aspects - Avoid form prevailing overfunction.Stylistically pleasant art, possessing such flavour, withcharacteristics which are accessible and comprehensiblyunderstanding – in both scale and form, achieves remarkableresults for social integration developing human relationships.Art has deep social dimensions, which makes it popular andcommunicatable.The art must be accepted and appreciated by the largest number ofpeopleThere is a communication between art and observerThe conscious mind looks at the work and appreciates its merits asan independent piece.
Whilst the other than conscious mind sees and respondsaccordingly to the relationship with its placing.The artwork always brings about a change in the environmentDoes the intended art work imply a change on the usage and statuson the proposed site? which will affect the community?“This requires some knowledge on social and intellectual history,anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and art. In short it requiresknowing how a given group sees and values the world in which theylive and how this vision and values affect their action.”Rapoport A, Aspectos de la calidad del entrono, La Gaya Ciencia,Barcelona 1974.There is a growing concern in developing countries about theprecedents of the micro-cosmic environmental conditions.There are serious imbalances in the life styles and therefore thehuman psyche of many.Key social issues we believe must be addressed in the futureevolution in public spaces.Public space and its use can help create a more human culture.Public art must now go further than just being artistic.They must have a social duty contributing in a direct andcommitted way;For the improvement of the environment and consequently humanbehaviour, providing more comfort, security, peace and pleasure.
References:El Espacio Raptado, by Javier Maderuelo.Public art & its intergration in the urban enviroment,by Montserrat Casanovas.Public sculpture, interaction between disciplinary fieldsby Ascen Garcia.Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org