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18 Vol. 18,   settembre 2017


Street art: iconoclastia e istituzionalizzazione | Street Art: Iconoclasm and Istitutionalization

a cura di Cinzia Bianchi e Silvia Viti.



METADATI: apri il frontespizio (pdf), DOI: 10.12977/ocula81
FASCICOLO: apri il pdf con tutti i contributi

Blu’s destruction of his work in May 2016, as an extreme response to the exibition Street Art - Banksy & Co.: Art in the Urban Form, placed Bologna at the center of international attention, and again forced the academic world to reflect on street art. The subject has in fact become a topic of collective interest, involving directly private citizens, institutions and movements in Italy, and it forms the framework for the present issue 18 of Ocula. A year ago, we asked experts in the fields of semiotics, philosophy, sociology and art history to use this single case to reflect on the themes of musealization, transmission and preservation of street art. The authors have investigated the many contradictions of this phenomenon--illegality and institutional recognition, anonymity and authorship, ephemerality and conservation--, and in so doing they tried to respond to our questions: Who does street art belong to? How is it expected to evolve? Can street art and graffiti writing be preserved? And how? What is the relationship between street art and new media?

Hanno collaborato a questo numero: Cinzia Bianchi, Cristina Greco, Michele Martini, Francesco Mazzucchelli, Marco Mondino, Christian Omodeo, Mario Panico, Damiano Razzoli, Julien Thiburce, Silvia Viti.


Introduction. Street Art: Iconoclasm and Institutionalizationdi Cinzia Bianchi, Silvia Viti

On the night of May 12, 2016 the street artist Blu, armed with a roller and some grey paint, set out to paint over all the works he had done in the city of Bologna. In this intent, the following day also, he was helped by activists from the community centers, his own collaborators and ordinary citizens united in an informal community that upheld his cause. Many others gathered either to celebrate this rite of destruction or to complain in disbelief, but in any case, to watch as it happened. Attention centered particularly on #OccupyMordor, a large mural that dominated the XM24 (an occupied social community center in the Bolognina district) which had previously been a focus when citizens mobilized to protect it from new building projects that envisaged the destruction of the building (July 2013).
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Tragedia di un artista di strada. La pratica della cancellazione da eutanasia artistica ad articidio | Tragedy of a Street Artist. The Practice of Erasure from Artistic Euthanasia to Articidedi Michele Martini

This article investigates the role and meaning of practices of erasure in contemporary Italian street art culture. Taking Blu’s choice of cancelling all his graffiti in the city of Bologna as a case study, I will investigate the limits and possibilities of this artistic performance in both political and social terms. Given the antagonist yet dialogic and dynamic relationship that connects street artists, civic institutions and urban spaces, I will argue that practices of erasure are a key component of the particular form of communication occurring among these actors. Through the analysis of #OccupyMordor, one of Blu’s most famous works, I will describe the relationship the author entertained with the city of Bologna highlighting, at the same time, the structural problems raised by institutional museification projects.
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Street(icono)clashes. Blu vs. Genus Bononiae: un caso di iconoclastia urbana | Street(icono)clashes. Blu vs. Genus Bononiae: a Case of Urban Iconoclasmdi Francesco Mazzucchelli

Moving from a perspective of semiotics of culture, the article investigates the events which accompanied Banksy and Co: Art in the Urban Form, the exhibition held in the City Museum of Bologna in May 2016, with a special attention to the reaction of the street artist Blu, who decided to erase all his street artworks in the city of Bologna. “Museum discourse” and “street discourse” are analyzed in a comparative and contrastive perspective, with the aim of understanding the interactions between different “discursive spaces” of the city in relation to diverse valorizations of the expressions of urban creativity.
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Esplosioni di icone. Street art e iconoclastia performativa sui monumenti socialisti dell’Europa orientale | Explosions of icons. Street Art and Performative Iconoclasm on the Socialist Monuments of Eastern Europedi Mario Panico

The aim of this paper is to consider the actions of street art and urban recolouring on the monuments of communist dictatorship, which have not been demolished after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Such rewriting actions have converted these monuments in spaces of artistic disputes in stark contrast with the memory conveyed by the communist regime. My goal is to understand the semiotic logic that characterizes the art of protest on the dictatorship monuments. In addition, with the analysis of three specific monuments I will investigate the relationship between imaginary and iconoclasm with the purpose of defining a new form of “attack on image” which is not only aimed at the destruction but also at the creation of new imaginaries.
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Collezioni visive negli spazi urbani: i luoghi della street art a Parigi | Visual Collections in Urban Spaces: the Sites of Street Art in Parisdi Marco Mondino

With its different forms, styles and ways of execution, Street Art is one of the visual culture languages that are now increasingly present in urban spaces. From a fleeting action that was often accomplished in an unauthorized manner, it has also established itself as an authorized practice, thus becoming an institutional instrument and a new way of visual redefinition of certain urban areas. The concept of Street Art is by no means unitary, but it could rather be seen as a complex and stratified communicative phenomenon that redefines itself by way of its specific modes of intervention in urban spaces. Starting from a series of observations and micro-analyses conducted in two urban areas of Paris the article considers the ways such artworks collect in certain areas as well as the visibility strategies and the effects of meaning determined by their presence.
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Paye ton musée ! Street art et (re)médiation culturelle en milieu urbain | Pay your Museum! Street Art and Cultural (re)Mediation in Urban Spacedi Julien Thiburce

In this paper, we will approach the process of street art musealization with regard to its “mise en tension” and the constant reappropriation of urban discourses by public space users. Different statuses of public space will thus be highlighted, from a space of implementation to an object remediated by Street Art. The latter will be seen as much as an art in the street as an art of the street linked to other languages (architecture, urbanism, signalization, etc.). We will then try to demonstrate that Street Art involves an urban dialogism and values that require an ecological approach to semiotic practices.
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La traccia in fieri. Mappare l’arte urbana, documentare l’assenza tra archivi web e locative media | Embryonic Lines. Mapping Urban Art, Documenting the Absence via Web Archives and Locative Mediadi Cristina Greco

Spatial and locative media, Internet archives and on-line and interactive maps using positioning and cartographic visualization technologies allow a migration of urban art, from which often nothing remains except in the memory of the web. This migration makes the invisible in all cities visible, by determining a reduction of the boundaries between local/global and central/peripheral. Just think, for example, of the Flickr image galleries, artists’ websites, blogs, collaborative social networks, experiential mapping and Google's platforms for geo-location and geo-annotation. This contribution proposes a reflection on two topics: first, on the transformation of the consumption patterns of art in the urban space, and second, on the role of Internet archives in the selection and organization of the memory (Certeau 1980, Ricoeur 2000) of artistic interventions subject to processes of deletion, deterioration and over-imposition. It does so through the analysis of some exceptional cases: Rome Street Art Map Project, M.U.Ro. (Urban Art Museum of Rome) Map and The Google Street Art Project. It aims to reflect on the practices of communication and on the effects of meaning in the examples where Urban Art acquires greater visibility and where the nature of the work is subject to the transition from a local dimension to a plausible more global dimension selecting the fragments of existing materials, in analogy to the concept of bricolage (Lévi-Strauss 1962).
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Sulla digitalizzazione della street art. Linee guida per un’analisi del museo virtuale Reggiane Urban Gallery | Digitalization of Street Art. Guidelines for an Analysis of the Reggiane Urban Gallery Virtual Museumdi Damiano Razzoli

Reggiane Urban Gallery is a virtual museum based on the abandoned industrial plant of ex-Officine Reggiane in Reggio Emilia, now in restoration. Along the years the place has become an open space for local and national street-artists. The aim of this paper is to analyze the use of virtual reality and navigable interface as a solution for the conservation of the Street Art, in relation to the fact that many pieces would have been lost due to the demolition of several walls. Also, the analysis proposes guidelines for a digitalization of Street Art that could prevent the displacement of situated Street Art pieces in museums and encourage the creation of street art locative media museum, supported on four concepts – dispositive/device, locativity, topographic database, interface - and one discoursive feature designing the mediated experience of urban crossing practices: the mimetical relation between the software cultural components and Street Art.
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Street Art come patrimonio. Quale musealizzazione? | Street Art Heritage. Which Musealisation? An interview with Christian Omodeo by Silvia Vitidi Silvia Viti, Christian Omodeo

Ocula presents an interview with Christian Omodeo on Urban Art heritage and the possible ways for its musealisation. One year ago Silvia Viti met Omodeo in Paris and initiated a dialogue with him on the main issues wich stand at the core of this number of Ocula. One year after that first conversation, the present interview investigates Omodeo’s approach to street art and goes back to the days of the Banksy & Co.’s debated exhibition.
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Ocula- Occhio semiotico sui media

ISSN 1724-7810

pubblicata da Associazione Ocula, via Lodovico Berti, 2 40131 - Bologna