Art in the City
Over the course of the next weeks, culture journalists from around the world will visit Zurich. Over 30 writers from China, England, France, Italy and Germany will travel to see “Art in the City” and hopefully write an article about it.
Although the journalists are not coming specifically for the city-wide installation, Zürich’s Department of Civil Engineering is using the gap in the agenda between events like Documenta Kassel last Wednesday and the start of Art Basel to position Zurich as a city where art is everywhere.
In Zürich West’s Kreis 5, in the new Mobimo Towers, City Councilor Ruth Geener of the Green Party greeted assembled journalists and introduced them to Zürich’s burgeoning art scene. Thanks to an artistic renaissance, Zürich has been able to shed its reputation as an artistically sleepy city into an art-filled metropolis.
But what constitutes art and how can one recognize it when it is not in a museum? “It doesn’t hurt to have to look a little,” says Art Professor Philip Ursprung. “Art keeps our senses awake and sharpens our views on a city to our immediate environs.”
Ursprung added. “Even the search for art takes us from our normal routes and allows us to enter into discussions with our fellow man….A plan is helpful to highlight the artworks, as well as labeling. But during the course of the exhibition, one can always ask passers by questions or allow oneself to be surprised by spontaneous street performances. And it doesn't hurt to have to look a little, and even be uncertain as to what is, and what isn’t art.”
Ursprung defended the Art in the City concept, even if was a bit overoptimistic in its spatial dimensions, for achieving its original goal of increasing awareness of Art in the City. “Here we are putting art on a pedestal, to discuss what kind of city we want, which paintings, and how art should continue. We cannot simply allow politicians and advertising agencies to chose…. The city belongs to everyone; it is common ground, that should not be controlled. Art helps us to protect out common ground.”