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Session Overview
RN02_08c_P: Cultural Spaces and Urbanity
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Volker Kirchberg, Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Location: PC.2.12
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 2.

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Art and culture in malleable space. Comparative case study of the construction projects of the Helsinki Central Library and Amos Rex Art Museum.

Aino Iiris Elena Alatalo

University of Tampere, Finland

Flexibility, modifiability and openness of space have been some of the growing trends in the field of architecture. This holds true for working spaces, housing and factories alike. Drawing on the conceptual tools of Science and Technology Studies and particularly Actor-Network Theory my paper focuses on this phenomenon in the specific field of cultural buildings: the Helsinki Central Library and Amos Rex Art Museum. Through these case studies of Helsinki-based cultural construction projects my PhD study looks into the interconnections of art, architectural space and urban planning. Preliminary results of an on-going analysis signal that the adaptability of space to different purposes has become a key element also in the field of arts and culture. Rather than stabilizing action by providing a steady spatial frame of reference and material surroundings for the artworks and the public, the principle in the projects is to mould the space anew according to the needs of a particular activity. This is achieved by building a temporary space within an existing space. The ideal of malleability appears to be connected i.a. to the accelerating technological change. Not knowing what could be considered as art and what kind of action the art objects are going to create in the next fifty years, cultural organizations are preparing for the unknown forms that art and culture will take in the future. The buildings materialize a vision of future that is simultaneously produced in the projects and yet unknown to us. Against this background the paper looks into what kind of implications this development has for the relations of art, architecture and the public.

Contradicting concepts of culture in contemporary Helsinki. Narrating the case of Guggenheim Helsinki.

Fotios Skouras

University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

Aim of the proposed research is to highlight the contradicting notions of contemporary cultural field in Helsinki by examining differing policies, practices and techniques which coexist and compete in today's public urban space. It has as main area of study the case of Helsinki Guggenheim plan which has left its mark in the cultural and political scene of Helsinki within the years 2011-2016. The production of common urban space is becoming increasingly important in the contemporary world contested from the requests of continuous economic growth and the needs of societal coexistence. The first constitutes a process of constant urban growth based on reconstruction of cities, the marketization of public spaces and different social, political effects associated with this dynamic. The second forms an objective of transforming the day to day life by ascribing new uses to the urban common spaces and by redefining the collective (inter)action. At the background of this study is the hypothesis that depending their starting point and scope, the cultural agents produce different types of urban intervention and imagination, different interpretations regarding the material and symbolic use of cultural resources and different forms of citizens’ involvement. Under this perspective the research's examination is to explore how these evolutions can be understood under the frame of cultural policy and to indicate the citizens’ perception about the urban cultural space. The study is linked with a broad research stream regarding the Urban Commons and particularly with the work of Henry Lefebvre and the social production of meanings of space.

Architecture Exhibitions in the global museum field: A Case study of ‘Everyday architecture re-made in Taiwan’ exhibition in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennial ‘Reporting from the front’

Chia-ling Lai

National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Since the World expo, architectures have been constituted as significant parts of the exhibition. However, on the one hand, architecture exhibitions in the museum receive relatively less attention in the museum field; On the other, the new iconic architectures turn into the main attraction of new museum buildings. When the lack of authenticity of the reproduced model exhibits reduce the attraction of architecture exhibitions, the spatial concepts and miniature aesthetic design render the architecture a new exhibition trend.

This research focuses on the Venice architecture exhibition as a ‘laboratory’ for spatial aesthetic practices and Taiwan pavilion as a case study, to explore the curatorial strategies of linking spatial concepts and local spatial practices to compete in the global exhibition field. Drawing upon Bourdieu’s field theory, Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory and Urry’s global mobility and complexity, this research develops the concept of global mobile museum field applying upon architecture exhibitions. Based on the archive research, interviews on curators, fieldwork and visitor studies, this research interrogates how the everyday architecture and alternative spatial practice displayed in the spectacular competitive exhibition field based on the multiple discourses of everydayness in the ‘Everyday architecture re-made in Taiwan 2016’ exhibition in the alternative 2016 Venice architecture thematised as ‘reporting from the front’.

Redeveloping urban spaces through culture and tourism: a case study about Rio and Barcelona

Bruno Gontyjo do Couto

University of Brasilia, Brazil

The present paper adopts as object of analysis what Yúdice designated as “artistic and cultural policies of urban revitalization”. These are basically policies of renovation and regeneration of abandoned urban spaces which have as their “central feature” the adoption of the sectors of art, culture and tourism as a vector of development and restructuring of the site. Basically, they invest in the renovation and modernization of the cultural infrastructure of these sites in order to install a business and services complex with emphasis on the areas of art, culture and tourism. During this process, a great number of spatial, architectural and symbolic resources are mobilized to create the “new space” as a special ambience, distinctive and spectacular, dedicated to enjoyment and contemplation practices. This kind of initiative has been developed in several cities around the world at least since the late 80’s. In this research, we chose to focus on the city of Rio de Janeiro, comparing it to the previous case of Barcelona. More specifically, we have been analyzing the current context of restructuring of the entire port area located in downtown, a process coordinated by the local government through the project “Porto Maravilha” which aims to “requalify” an urban area of 5 million m². From our point of view, the combination of a) actions of expansion and modernization of artistic and cultural facilities, b) restoration of historical buildings and “local material heritage”, c) strategies to promote the installation of restaurants, hotels and shops, suggests that the project - following the example of "Port Olimpic" in Barcelona - seeks to reconfigure the zone port into the new great artistic and cultural center of Rio.

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