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Mediating memory: Strategies of interaction in public art and memorials

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This article addresses how a selection of participatory art and memorial projects have engaged with public memory and interaction. The intention is to explore the tension between the artists’ strategies and the actual lifespan and use of the artworks by their audiences. The authors interviewed the artists Esther Shalev-Gerz, Alfredo Jaar and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (during 2008 and 2009) and examined specific works. In addition, one of the literally ‘groundbreaking’ works of process art by Robert Smithson, Partially Buried Woodshed, was included in the analysis of cases that have provoked interesting social or collective memory debates and community interaction around public art.
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Keywords: appropriation; collective memory; interaction; memorial practice; participation; public art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Malmö University

Publication date: 2012-05-04

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  • The Journal of Arts and Communities seeks to provide a critical examination of the practices known as community or participatory arts, encompassing a field of work defined for this purpose as incorporating active creative ollaboration between artists and people in a range of communities.The journal will take a cross-artform and interdisciplinary approach,including work happening in performance, visual arts and media,writing, multimedia and collaboration involving digital technology and associated forms. In part this will create an archive that will document work which can otherwise be ephemeral
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