International Conference "What is the fate of Public Art?"
In celebration of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
On the 19th and 20th May 2011, the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO and the Community of Cergy-Pontoise will organise an international conference bringing together renowned architects and artists such as Otto Piene, Daniel Buren, Dani Karavan, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman as well as key decision-makers to discuss the issue of Public Art and its future around the following themes:
- The Creation of Urban Space
- Purpose and Perception of Public Art
- Public Art, Identity and Ownership
- From Ephemeral to Eternal: Sustainability of Public Art in an Urban Policy Context
The term public art officially refers to works of art regardless of the media, that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being present in the public domain, and whether this be outdoors, or indoors, that they be accessible to all. Public art seeks to enrich a community by providing a unique encounter with art in public space. As public art is often a permanent addition to an urban landscape, many questions come up; who Is responsible for funding the work? Who is responsible for its protection and preservation and how close is the choice of works and artists specific cultural political agendas?
The context of the event is rooted in the reflection and discussions of the UNESCO's Urban Program which aims to help communities meet the challenge of modernisation without compromising the character and identity of historic towns and their centres.
With its urban history based upon the concept of new urban centres the Community of Cergy-Pontoise pursues its reflection surrounding the development of the town. Partners in this event, Cergy- Pontoise is now considered as a pioneer in innovative city planning, with its "Axe majeur", a 3 km urban sculpture on which the artist Dani Karavan has been working since 1980. The Community of Cergy-Pontoise is recognised for the amount of space it dedicates to art on its territory and this is why the town has been selected to host the future National Center for Heritage Conservation in 2015.