Doctoral studies

Povilas Marozas (VDA)

Creative part: "Public Space / Public Art: The Playbook". Supervisor assoc. prof. Gediminas Urbonas

Theoretical part: "Public Space / Public Art: The Playbook". Supervisor prof. dr. Tomas Grunskis

Studio Space/Time, proposal for pavillion at P.Cvirka square in Vilnius, 2020

Public art is a loose term that represents a wide spectrum of artworks which operate outside of conventional art spaces - galleries, museums, biennials and other institutional venues. Situated in streets, squares, passages, along riverwalks or in a more wild environment it intervenes into the spaces of everyday, reflecting and projecting meanings that fall outside of scope of public space and landscape architecture. Albeit it escapes the apparent functionality of architectural objects the works of art in public space carry the potential to be ‘functional in providing certain kinds of tools for self-reflection, critical thinking and social change’(Jane Rendell, 2006). Yet through employing this very functionality more often than not it becomes part of highly contested debates on public space, powered by competing ideologies which constantly inflicts frictions, clashes and outright conflicts. Consequently more than any architectural form or occasion public art animates and activates the drama of public space where all claims and meanings are constantly renegotiated. And in this context it is always challenged by and vulnerable to bigger powers that aim to project and enforce different ideologies upon the public.

With my practice-led doctoral project I aim to address the fact that at least in Lithuanian context practices of making public art lack the tools and processes to defend themself in a wider and heavily contested debates on public space. I intend to do this by developing a playbook akin to more legal forms of act or law, that would both provide a framework for developing and implementing public artworks and at the same time act as a point of reference for any existing or future conflicts concerning the works themselves. Powered by a wide spectrum of theoretical research on public space, architecture and public art, my own artistic practice as landscape and public space architect as well as curator and producer of public art is employed here for creating precedents upon which the arguments of the playbook would be constructed. The form of work itself allows to address a wide and at the same time abstract body of public artworks in its entirety, not limiting itself to specific particularities, but trying to define it as a significant element of public space that has many forms. It is a critical and parafictional work that employs the tools of artistic research and has its feet in both academy and arts in order to claim and reclaim the space for art in public domain.