Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Discussion Forum – Julian Opie: Signs and Public Art in Indianapolis

Your thoughts. We want inside your head. Feedback. Dialogue. Voices. We want ‘em all. Good, bad and anywhere in-between.

On the Cusp (in collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis) wants thoughts and stories from people who have encountered the temporary public art exhibitions that have been produced through the Public Art Indianapolis program.

These programs include:
2005: Tom Otterness in Indianapolis, an exhibition of 25 of the sculptor’s satirical bronzes.
2006-2007: Julian Opie: Signs, the British artist’s largest public project to date anywhere in the world.

Julian Opie: Signs opened last September with 11 installations of art – 10 in downtown locations and one at the IMA. The 10 downtown installations remain up through September 1st of this year. Julian created several new art installations specifically due to the opportunity provided to him by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission. The exhibition has received media attention locally, nationally, and international including coverage in our Indianapolis Star, the UK’s Guardian and most recently the May issue of Art + Auction magazine. To learn more, visit www.indyarts.org/JulianOpie.

But we want to hear your stories, comments, and desires about future projects and exhibitions in the public realm. What did you like? Hate? Love? Didn’t get? Think this was a good exhibit for Indianapolis? Why? Why not? Do you want to see this kind of exhibition program in the public realm continue?

Please keep all commentary respectful. This will be monitored. Thank you!

7 Responses to “Discussion Forum – Julian Opie: Signs and Public Art in Indianapolis”

Anonymous said...
June 13, 2007 at 10:04 AM

One thing I love about Opie is that it was modern, fun, and provocative. It was contemporary art -- almost pop art -- that still looked modern but didn't turn people off. And the pieces were so wonderfully visible and tied together. People could see multiple images and know they were from the same artist and therefore part of a larger art project.

Practically every time I walked downtown at the intersection of Washington and Meridian (where the electronic walkers are outside Borders and Parisian), I heard comments. People were talking!

Carla said...
June 13, 2007 at 11:08 AM

His work functions very well as public art. It's meets the city's goals.

The voice in my head that gives up easily says, "This ain't so bad, it has some conceptual value. It gives you a bit of a brief brain twisting." Another voice is screaming obscenities and demanding an inexplicable mindblowing aesthetic experience.



Anonymous said...
June 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM

I think Opie's work is overrated and owes way too much to corporate marketing campaigns. This may be a schtick that he claims to be exploiting, tongue in cheek, but it is tiresome and Andy Warhol churned out more than was necessary.

Opie's work has to have a companion explanation as a prop because it simply is not visually engaging enough to stand on its own. Whoever isn't "in on it" just sees these objects or billboards that look like something from the zoo or an amusement park.

I am also reminded of the typical habit of people on selection committees for projects like this. They seem to believe art/artists from SOMEWHERE ELSE are more interesting or worthy of showing.

It is like the tribal blindspot that always believes the medicine man from the next village is better than their own.

Anonymous said...
August 10, 2007 at 9:52 PM

I love Opie's public art. I think it is wonderful and I wish it is something that can be seen all over, and not just in the big cities. I think it makes Indianapolis more interesting and somewhat more exciting.

Anonymous said...
August 17, 2007 at 8:29 AM

I would agree that these works of what I would concider very contemperary art (opposed modern as this exibition is clearly not modernist in its goals or design) have been little more than comercial hoopla....
however, what in the art world isn't these days? after the 'market' revolution of the aesthetic realm throughout the 70's and especially the 80's, art/artists/critics/curators are all more focused on the VALUE, INVESTMENT and/or Pricetag of the art our latte fueled society embraces.
With that said, I have found "SIGNS" to be actually a very fitting, appropriate and sucessful exibition of public art that although is marked by the evils of Market-based productions, maintains a sense of purpose and meaning....the true sucess here (ESPECIALLY FOR INDY) is that as 'conceptual' or 'abstract' these images are, conversations and imaginations alike have been inspired to question, contemplate and re-evaluate this unique city-space and our places therein...

Anonymous said...
September 13, 2007 at 6:26 PM

I love this exhibit... gonna miss seeing them in downtown. I did enjoy taking pictures of some of the pieces with Indy locals.

"Do you want to see this kind of exhibition program in the public realm continue?" - YES... more please!

Anonymous said...
October 18, 2007 at 10:51 AM

So glad "Opie Obstacles" are going away........

I liked the "digital walkers". The rest were obtuse, uninteresting to look at, and bumbling attempts at "statement-making". YAWN..........

To those making public art decisions,
hear this .... "More ART, less gimick, please!"

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