For a few years there have been rumors that the Nasher Sculpture Center has been planning to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a massive public art exhibition — a city takeover — that uses sites scattered around Dallas for unique installations. The idea for the project is intriguing for a number of reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to rethink public art in Dallas. How does one approach the issue of public art in a city that doesn’t boast a ton of public spaces or public gathering spots?
Today the media has been invited to a press conference at the Nasher featuring a special appearance by Mayor Mike Rawlings and promising an announcement regarding the museum’s tenth anniversary. I asked a Nasher spokesperson if the press conference was called to launch the public art initiative, and she neither confirmed nor denied the rumor. So I have a hunch that is what today’s event is about.
If so, I’m looking forward to finding out how the Nasher addresses a number of questions surrounding the project: Who will be the artists tapped by the Nasher for the project? What city sites will be utilized? Will the exhibition take a “Northpark approach” to art in the public sphere, namely, placing refined art works in public settings, or will it include new commissions or offer a broad survey of approaches to public art?
Stay tuned for answers. After all, I could be completely wrong about this. In the meantime here are some notable examples of one approach to public work in a car-driven city: billboards, starting at the top of the page with the late-Felix Gonzalez-Torres. “Untitled.” 1991 (via).