Critical debates

Critical debates

Site and Situation: The Street

List of Illustrations:

Fig. 1. Vilnius Tourist Information Center (2019). Available at: http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/en/what-to-see/routes/street-art-vilnius/ (Accessed: 7 October 2019)……………………………………………p.5

Fig. 3. Fig. 3. Awesome. (2016) ‘New artwork outside a restaurant in Lithuania’. 12 May. Available at: https://9gag.com/gag/aBYepRO?ref=mobile.s.cp&fbclid=IwAR3rqKBzNWT5XaScXXV9antTorC87d5MrHWHYZllPGaZLIpg7m8Kqb6enA8 (Accessed: 21 October 2019).p.6

Fig. 4. Van Pouke, B. and Luong, E. (2016) Street art/today. Tielt: Lannoo…………………………………………………………………..p.8

Guy Debord’s article ‘Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography’ was published in the Belgian surrealist journal Les Levres Nues in September 1955. Guy Louis Debord (1931-1994) a French writer and a leader of the Situationist International involves the reader to focus on a new aspect on cities such as psychogeography. That does an exploration of urban environments, its effect on individuals’ emotions, their psychological state and behavior.

Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord. It is ‘the study of the specific effects of the geographical environment (whether consciously organized or not) on the emotions and behavior of individuals’ (Situationist International, 2006).

In June 1958 the definitions ‘Definitions’ was published in ‘Internationale Situationniste#1’ by the organisation of revolutional avant-garde artists based in Italy in 1957 by name Situationist International or IS. In ‘Definitions’ they introduce the reader to the SI movement and explains the manifestation in their terms.

An article ‘Symbiotic Postures of Commercial Advertising and Street Art – Rhetoric of Creativity’ by Borghini et al was published in the Journal of Advertising in 2010. Several scholars did the research in various sources on art street as a part of social life and advertising and its influence on social life.

These articles examine differences in opinion in relation to urban street art. Essentially key differences in approach are related to whether street art needs to be commercial and how the urban geography affects people.

Guy Debord in his article reveals a new approach to art as a cultural product of everyday life available to consumers society. Thus is street art advertising itself as the process of new unseen forms and aesthetic situations in the moment, a method of propaganda, an integration of artistic products into a new milieu. Thus there is a parallel between two articles. In both of them there is analyses of social context influence to advertising and vice versa.

Debord describes that the Paris metro maps can be a piece of art and the city itself impressive with wild avenues. Meanwhile the group of scholars talks that ‘iron shop gates become canvasses for publicly held open-air museums’ (Borghini et al, 2010, p.113). Subways, stations, means of transport are used for street installations. It is that street art might appear in different and untypical places mostly in cities in noisy and crowded areas as well as in abandoned areas.

Nevertheless, it reveals and promotes creativity, as well as offers noncommercial consumption of art. As it is mentioned in the article, ‘street art is a populist aesthetic, a consumerist critique, and an urban redevelopment project’ .

Borghini et al (2010) agree there are less boundaries between street art and (non) commercial advertising. Street art promotes artists’ viewpoints, ideologies, contemporary consumers’ needs and culture. Moreover, it advertises some industrial tendencies as well as famous brand as ‘brand logos and advertising images’ (Borghini et al, 2010, p.119). In this way street art becomes global and homogeneous.

Urban geography as a phenomena affects people’s psychology, behavior, their needs for happiness and indulgence. In this point there is a parallel between both articles. In urban space there are acceptable and disgusting places and they can evoke dwellers’ negative or pleasant emotions so it is important to create a proper ambiance in a suitable place filled with appropriate entertainment for their satisfaction Debord, 1955, p.4). In urban space there are acceptable and disgusting places and they can evoke dwellers’ negative or pleasant emotions.

In the article of scholars Borgini at al it is mentioned that advertising is rhetorical communication and creativity serves it. Some psychology, risk of originality is reflected in street art. Street artists do not follow main aesthetic rules, they are involved in new forms of experimentation and have freedom to create and express themselves sometimes in risk to loose originality and individualism.

Fig 1. Mindaugas Bonau and Dominykas Čečkauskas, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, (Pylimo str. 66, Vilnius, 2019). Available at: http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/en/what-to-see/routes/street-art-vilnius/

Fig.2. Mindaugas Bonau and Dominykas Čečkauskas, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, (Pylimo str. 66, Vilnius, 201 ). Originally in the painting Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a kiss. Available at: https://9gag.com/gag/aBYepRO?ref=mobile.s.cp&fbclid=IwAR3rqKBzNWT5XaScXXV9antTorC87d5MrHWHYZllPGaZLIpg7m8Kqb6enA8

Street art is a global movement in forms such as graffiti, sticker art, video projection, street installations and others, and it is usually reflects recent trends of other kinds of arts such as fashion, music, movies, video games (Borghini et al, 2010, p.115) as well as political events.

Political figures were painted by two artists Mindaugas Bonau and Dominykas Čečkauskas in Vilnius (see Fig.1), (Vilnius Tourist Information Center, 2019). Originally in the painting Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a kiss. It is seen in Fig.2 (Awesome, 2016). The original version (see Fig. 2) was vandalised and turned into the version (see Fig. 1).

Moreover, commercial interests have the priority to art. An example in Vilnius just demonstrates it. The surrealistic painting on the wall by a Spanish artist Aryz (Van Poulke and Luong, 2016, p. 99, Fig.4). was totally destroyed some years ago when the house was demolished and one more hotels in Vilnius has recently been built instead.

Fig. 4. The picture on the wall in Vilnius by Aryz, photo by Henrik Haven.

In conclusion, the analyses in the articles shows how images work alone and in co-operation with other pieces of work to co-communicate and persuade the audience to covey the ideas. Street art can be equal art to commercial or aesthetic art forms since it conveys audience’s social and cultural atmosphere, furthermore, it is an effective means of co-communication in melting boundaries between artists and their creativity and advertisement. It can be intriguing, provoking and inspiring.

Street art is a part of social life and might more influence commercial advertising in the nearest future and the generation mainly demands educational value quality instead quantity.

References

Borghini, S., Massimiliano Visconti, L., Anderson, L. and Sherry, J.F.,(2010)‘Symbiotic Postures of Commercial Advertising and Street Art – Rhetoric of Creativity’, Journal of Advertising, 39(3), pp. 113-126.

Bureau of Public Secrets (no date) Definitions. Available at: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/1.definitions.htm (Accessed: 21 October 2019).

Bureau of Public Secrets (no date) Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography. Available at: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/urbgeog.htm (Accessed: 21 October 2019).

Fig. 4. Van Pouke, B. and Luong, E. (2016) Street art/today. Tielt: Lannoo

John Tomlinson

administrator

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