SPA History / 2014 / Mouvement III /

The City Performed

August 26 to November 2 2014

Exhibition in Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt

Opening ceremony on August 26 2014 6 p.m.

The performances of Le Mouvement explore public space and its limits in Biel in 2014. The artistic interventions are announced as such and are possibly treated differently under the protective mantle of the Swiss Sculpure Exhibition. Performing the City relates exclusively to Biel, an extremely limited segment of what public space signifies internationally. The urban public realm is always determined by local conditions and is strongly coloured by the political system, the legislation in force, how this legislation is implemented, economic circumstances, moral sensibilities, the influence of grassroots movements, cultural policy etc.
The exhibition The City Performed at the Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt extends the concept of public space internationally - in both historical-geographical and political terms. It explicitly encompasses artists who have implemented street performances under various circumstances - in some cases at the risk of being arrested and imprisioned.  The museum-bases explorationn at Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt offers a more in-depth examination of the context of performance.  In a nutshell, it is certainly fair to say that public space as a term and concept are different for each of the works exhibited. Considering differences and distictions is the only way to tackle the complexity of the system of discourse, society, city, and public space.
It is however not always a desire to have an impact in a political context that drives artists out into the street - on the contrary. The urge to abaondon the protective walls of the art instititution has been omnipresent since the sixties. Parallel to Land Art, which chose the world of nature as exhibition venue, more and more artists turned to the street and used it as a platform, an alternative to art spaces, neutral terrain, not appropriated by official art discourse.
The city is viewed as neutral terrain, which is not integrated into an art discourse and is free from preferences of state art policy. Artists who renounce the context of the exhibiton space signal their independence, However, the documentary records of these performances often end up back in the art sphere once again.