The South Collection Plovdiv
The project transforms large closed objects into a work of public art, made by the designers and artists of public space, the city developers and policy makers.
In the example of Rotterdam, the subject of the sculptures was a block of soon to be torn down buildings. The project sees these buildings (in Oranjeboomstraat, Rotterdam, Netherlands) as sculptures from the moment they loose their function (to be inhabitable) by becoming covered in metal plates and sprayed with a red x, as a sign of protection from being squatted, remaining in this form sometimes for years.
In the example of Plovdiv, an old and closed socialist monument was used as the object for the audio tour, reflecting on the political position of the new Mall Plovdiv, a shopping mall built immediatelly next to the monument, and possible future plans to renovate the monument in this context. The South Collection tackles the issue of institutionalization, whether of public space or public art in terms of growing privatization to the point where public space will no longer be space for the many, but for the few.
The facade of the project is an identity correction of a powerful institution. In the example of Rotterrdam it is the identity of the CBK (center for visual arts, the organization in charge of public art in Rotterdam) and in the example of Plovdiv, it is Mall Plovdiv. The audio guide, on the other hand, is a reflection of a self sufficient and self referential art system which supports and feeds a hermetic language, that can, at a point of sufficient abstractedness, become applicable to almost anything, where the curatorial choice becomes the authority of meaning. The setup of The South Collection at the Night of the Museums offered group audio tours to visitors, together with promotional material (postcards and brochures pointing to the audio references).