Public art belongs to everyone, and everyone can give their own interpretation of it. This is Jouni Sarpola's belief. Mr Sarpola, who is about to graduate with a doctorate from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, examines public debate and art critique on public sculptures in his dissertation Space Fleet, Corn and a Few Other Public Sculptures at the Turn of the Millennium. The purpose of the study is to examine the status of public art in Finland during the first decade of the 21st century.
The study examines four public sculptures Markus Copper's Big Bang Echo (2000), Kimmo Schroderus' Hyöky (2004–2006) and Pekka Jylhä's Ilmestys (2000) and My Way (2012). Style was the primary criteria for the selection of these specific artists and works. According to Mr Sarpola, every piece has brought a new or a new kind of element to public art.
Part of the public feels that contemporary art is amateur dilly-dally that is not credible or "beautiful" art that could be taken seriously. General discussion on modern sculpture tends to take a very narrow artist interpretation of it.
'My research confirmed the understanding that sculpture with all its paradigm changes is a dynamic part of contemporary art. My paper brings new information and verbal tools to the observation of public art. I believe that public sculptures should perhaps be "art that is in the common interest"', Mr Sapola said.
photo: Marcus Copper: Big Bang Echo
From free source codes to 3D printing
Sculptors are in a challenging position these days, which reflects directly on public sculptural art. The economic downturn is evident in sculptors' bank accounts. Problems with public funding have added pressure to private funding. The art world is undergoing a institutional reorganisation, which will also impact on public art.
'Public sculpture is in a state of change, which can however lead to it becoming stronger. The next steps can include experimentalism and new elements for presenting art that are facilitated by technological innovations. Recyclable materials and technology based on free source code are interesting and freeing with regard to creation of art.
Mr Sarpola feels that the next step will be new opportunities facilitated by material printing and robotics. He also believes that public art and the discussion that arises from it can offer everyone a new perspective for introspection and for examining their surrounding.
Defence of doctoral dissertation
Jouni Sarpola's dissertation Space Fleet, Corn and a Few Other Public Sculptures at the Turn of the Millennium will be examined at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture on 26/11/2015 at 12.00. The event will take place in Sampo Hall, Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki. Jyrki Siukonen, Doctor of Fine Arts, will serve as opponent.
Orders for the dissertation can be placed with the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s online bookshop: shop.aalto.fi. Inquiries: [email protected], tel. +358 (0)50 313 7086.
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
tel. +358 40 517 3035
Download photographs of Big Bang Echo and Hyöky at:http://materialbank.aalto.fi:80/public/49ddd998c89C.aspx
Marcus Copper: Big Bang Echo