The Art in Public Space of West-Ukrainian Towns: Expectations and Realities


  • Nadiia Babii PhD (Art History); Associate Professor of the Department of Design and Theory of Art of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University. Ivano-Frankivsk. Main research fields: contemporary art of Western Ukraine in the late twentieth – early twenty-first century (postmodern, hypermodern, metamodern), cultural and artistic practices, cultural and artistic processes.



art practices, contemporary art, transformation of urban space, contradictions of perception, traditional society


The purpose of the article is to trace the contemporary artistic practices implemented in the western Ukrainian urban spaces at the beginning of the 21st century; to determine the degree of dependence of artistic trends on the dispute between profile professionals and the active community of the city. The research methodology: the research relied on the methods of a comprehensive and systematic approach, which allowed covering various issues of the appearance and perception of objects of modern art in the traditional urban spaces of Western Ukrainian cities; benchmarking was used in the review of implemented objects, photo and video sources; the interview method became relevant.
The scientific novelty of the work is that it addresses the issue of the perception of artistic objects in urban spaces. The perception of art is considered both from the standpoint of artists, connoisseurs, theorists, and from the position of an active public, whose opinion often influences the decisions of city-planning art councils, various competition commissions. Permanent and temporary projects created before festivals and holidays are considered. There are a number of contradictions: between expected and realized, beautiful and relevant, established and experimental. The role of contemporary practices in the transformation of sustainable urban spaces is revealed. It is emphasized that contemporary art is the driving force of culture, and while not always perceived in general, it can change the understanding of constant constants, contrasting the new approach, abandoning traditional forms, saturating the space with new content, overestimating the impossible.
Results. It has been determined that in the early 21st century art practices became an integral part of the transformation processes of the urban environment of Western Ukraine and demonstrate a wealth of reflections related to social change. Analysis of the achievements of Western Ukrainian cities proves that their environments are the most flexible to the introduction of modern culture. New monuments, graffiti, works that present the “intervention” of art forms into urban space provoke the transformation of a sustainable perception of urban space, giving rise to accompanying practices of shareholding.
At the same time, it should be noted that the different pole attitude to artistic constants and social ordering for monumental works cause radical contradictions in different social groups: topical is defined as low-artistic, incomprehensible, temporary, at the same time traditional is seen as outdated, applied, conservative.

Manuscript received 27.03.2020


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