Contemporary Trends: Between Public Art and Guerrilla Advertising
Dams University of Trieste Imola, Italy
One of the most interesting form of contemporary art is Public art. Born as a form of guerrilla art,
the term refers today to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. It can be divided into three main genres: permanent site specifics, temporary site specifics, audience specifics, according to the form and to the aims of the projects. The first and the second are generally characterized by installations realized in collaboration with public or private institutions, inspired by a given or chosen place. The third are often much more people oriented. This form of public art is designed to encourage audience participation and sometimes tries to affect and to shape the relationships of a particular area. It is often the voice of marginal cultures and very often it still promotes guerrilla projects, which try to gain space, even without permission, outside the institutional white cube.
Advertising shows something similar in the so-called guerrilla advertising, which avoids the institutional displays in favour of unexpected performances and perturbant installations, which are not immediately recognizable as commercials. It was born as the voice of creative but low budget agencies, but now as it happens in public art it is used as a new trend even by rich and famous brands such as Nike.
Does guerrilla advertising put into question contemporary art creativity or is it just "the face of the same medal"?