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Vandalism and public art in Montreal : a discussion of works by Mark Lewis and Robert Prenovault

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Vandalism and public art in Montreal : a discussion of works by Mark Lewis and Robert Prenovault

Drvar, Tanina (2005) Vandalism and public art in Montreal : a discussion of works by Mark Lewis and Robert Prenovault. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of two works of public art which have been vandalized in Montreal: Mark Lewis' What is to be Done?, which was a scaled down plaster replica of a statue of Lenin exhibited in Park Lafontaine in 1991, and Robert Prenovault's Les Territoires Simultanés, a project installed on a vacant lot on St. Laurent boulevard during the summer of 1993. I discuss these two works and the reactions they solicited in relation to discourses on public art and public space, and propose that the vandalism to these artworks may in fact be a way of reclaiming space, as a manifestation of what Henri Lefebvre has called the public's 'right to the city'. By first briefly discussing the history of public art, I touch on some key theoretical issues which demonstrate the many ambiguities of public art practices. The analysis of public space, democracy and art leads to a discussion of how vandalism and public art can intersect. Examining different examples of works of public art which have been attacked or destroyed in both North America and Europe, I set the stage for my two case studies. I raise questions about the vandalism of these two works and the public's interaction with them, to suggest that these acts are not always destructive, but rather, can present creative alterations which contribute to the artistic process. While it is difficult to establish with certainty why these works were attacked, I nonetheless study the context in which they were not only created but also destroyed, to seek to understand what these works challenged and provoked that would warrant such reactions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Drvar, Tanina
Pagination:vii, 122 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sloan, Johanne
ID Code:8609
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:30
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:20
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