Public space has become one of the central motifs in discussions of contemporary art, culture and society. Its material and symbolic development has created an intense challenge for artistic practice, not because of its potential for exhibition, but because of the complex new questions of representation, persuasion and communication it raises.
From Monument to Market: Video Art and Public Space is comprised of two complementary parts: a collection of video works by Polish artists on DVD, and a series of articles inspired by the collection, written specifically for this publication by an international array of curators and critics involved with issues in new art.
The collection of video works that formed the basis for this publication was presented in its original form at the Kunsthalle in Vienna and the “salon transmediale” in Berlin. Thanks to its focus on the issue of the language of art in relation to historical changes, this (now expanded) selection can be viewed repeatedly from different angles. It is a broad retrospective of Polish video art juxtaposing works from the 1970s with very recent ones, representing a variety of approaches, illustrating the assorted roles that the artist can play and the different mechanisms that art can set into motion — sometimes unexpectedly — when it meets public space.
The collection of video works can also be viewed as the source material for the commentaries in this book: the works that served to inspire an outstanding series of critical articles on contemporary Polish art by an international panel of authors.