From Site to Situation – A Personal History of Public Art

by Martin Fritz
From Site to Situation – A Personal History of Public Art

The presentation will attempt a biographical survey of recent developments in public art. Using examples from his own practice as a curator and producer of public art the will show how art in the public realm gradually developed from the paradigm of Site Specificity to its more contemporary version, which could be called "Situation Specificity". At the same time art in the public sphere has developed into a collaborative practice, step by step leaving the confines of individually produced art production, in favor of usefulness, participation and transdisciplinary work. By expanding the notion of art, art has contributed to a situation in which art is just one of the many practices constantly involved in reshaping the public realm. The Vienna-based curat or, consultant and writer will end his presentation, arguing that the best public artwork of the year so far was produced by a voluntary fire brigade.

Martin Fritz has studied law in Vienna from 1981 to 1986. Since then he has worked in the field of contemporary art production in Vienna, New York, Germany and other countries. Starting with independent projects in theatre, visual arts and film in the 1980ies, he has specialized on producing and conceiving visual arts projects in collaboration with curators and institutions, with a special emphasis on project-management and art-production in the public space. Among many other assignments he has worked as Director of Operations for the re-opening of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre in New York, General Co-ordinator of Manifesta 4 – European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt (Main) and Managing Director of In Between - The Art Project of EXPO 2000 in Hanover. Recently he has worked as a consultant on structural and organizational issues for art-funding initiatives such as relations - a project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in Berlin and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. His curatorial work includes art-projects for the Hospital in Meran / Merano, Italy and artprojects for the University in Klagenfurt, Austria and Beziehungsarbeit – Kunst und Institution, a large scale exhibition on Institutional Critique and more for Künstlerhaus in Vienna. From 2001 to 2007 he was a member of the Board of the International Foundation Manifesta. From 2004 to 2009 he was the Director of the Festival of Regions a Biennial for site-specific art and culture in rural regions in the Austrian province of Upper Austria. Among other teaching assignments ( DonauuniversitätKrems, Department fürBildwissenschaften, ECM – University of Applied Arts Vienna) Martin Fritz was an Adjunct Professor, teaching »Cultural Organizations -Structure and Theory« at Webster University – Vienna Campus, and a guest lecturer at CuMMa, Aalto University, Helsinki. Currently his research focuses on the Imperial Palace in Vienna and its use for museums and exhibitions throughout the 20th century.

 

Summer School as School is a project by Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, supported by:
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Kosovo
Culture for all – phase III
Kosova Foundation for Open Society
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Albania
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo
Ministry for European Integration of the Republic of Kosovo
Federal Chancellery of Austria
Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Technomarket
Sindikata
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