Accepted paper:

Rethinking collaborative public art: agents and values in the monument to multiculturalism in Almada, Portugal


Filipa Ramalhete (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)
Maria Assunção Gato (Dinamia-CET /ISCTE-IUL)
Sergio Vicente (Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

What are the advantages of having a collaborative process instead of a single authorship to build a public monument? Is the result really a reflection of the communities’ values? How do the various agents interact? The paper focuses on the evaluation of a collaborative art process in Portugal.

Paper long abstract:

Participatory public art processes have been led to recent interesting experiences and results in some European cities. Participatory public art processes have recently led to some interesting experiences and results in European cities. In Portugal, a unique case-study of participated public art was developed which combined methodologies for participation in public art developed in Barcelona with others used to promote public participation in regional planning. This case-study consists in the conception of a three piece monument built through a public art collaborative process in Almada, Portugal, between 2011 and 2013. This collaborative process involved several agents - the municipality, the experts' team, local associations and inhabitants - and was based on a sequential and progressive working methodology, through a dynamic and iterative process in which territory and community were the operative concepts for the monuments' conception. This participatory process is currently under evaluation and several questions arise: did this participatory public art process represent an added value for the agents involved? Which kind of values did the participants wish for? Were the prime expectations converted in real benefits? This presentation proposes to discuss the different roles and empowerment levels of the different agents (sculptors, residents, anthropologists, local technicians and politicians) involved in the collaborative process.

panel P087
Collective imaginations and collaborative art practice