High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Self-Willed or Superfluous? Art in Public Space in the Netherlands
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Self-Willed or Superfluous? Art in Public Space in the Netherlands

(Ingeborg Walinga) The Low Countries - 2006, № 14, pp. 136-143

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Artists in the Netherlands now help to give shape to the public space. However, you can have too much of a good thing. With the mushrooming of art in public areas over the past 50 years and the related stifling red tape, a lot of forgettable or even downright disastrous art now takes pride of place in public areas. What we need, according to Walinga, is clients who get closely involved in the project, are audacious in their choices, formulate a clear assignment and then give the artists the artistic leeway to do their work. In return, artists need to take into account the social function that public areas have, while retaining their own distinctive artistic approach. Neither side should underestimate the general public. People do want to be part of this artistic adventure, and they are not content with just having an equestrian statue of a prince or a prime minister in bronze.

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