FACES, journal d'architecture, April 30 - September 2, 2019

Contrasting with the image of present-day Venezuela, during the 1950 and 1960 the country was an exceptional laboratory for the synthesis of the arts at the urban scale. The director of the magazine Domus, Gio Ponti, spoke in 1954 of the «  courage of the fantasy » in Venezuela, while a striking article showed how an ideal of the integration of the arts was taking shape through the works of Léger, Calder or Vasarely at the University City of Caracas. The 76th number of the international magazine FACES is dedicated to this idea of past and present integration of the arts in the public space. If in the view of the European avant-garde modern man was the product of a new totalising visual and perceptive environment, in the post-war period the question of planning the design of public spaces — keeping in mind both plastic and sound art installations — was mostly an affair of decorum, of punctual insertions that furnish a given space. In short, we are talking about an applied art to the public space, one that constitutes the decor (without considering the term as being pejorative). Countries like Switzerland have long implemented the principle that the financing of culture be made by public entities, which are obliged to welcome art inside or outside any new public building. Switzerlands’ most important cities are particularly committed to the idea that the insertion of art takes place in the public space. Internationally renowned events such as the Skulpture Projekte in Münster experiment this very relationship between the open space of the city and the art-piece or the installation. We can also mention a contemporary practice that is very appreciated by the « creative » and cosmopolitan class that consists in integrating works of art or installations along pre-determined paths, in thematic gardens, on islands (Teshima and Naoshima in Japan) or asking several high profile architects to design sculptural objects, one more striking than the next — such as flagship stores for luxury brands — and placing them along popular avenues. These reflexions bring us to the Beaux-Arts culture typical of national or international fairs or exhibitions. The drawing of (an often temporary) palace or an exhibition pavilion has been for more than a century a stylistic and spatial exercice (Mies in Barcelona, Sert in Paris, Zumthor in Hanover, to cite only a few), half-way between the work of art and the iconic object, standing as a cultural testimony of a region.

For its 76th number, FACES launches an international call for papers which will take place as follows:

  • April 30th, 2019, submission of paper abstracts (maximum 5000 characters), as well as a short biography of the author (500 characters) ;
  • May 15th, 2019: the editorial board announces the selection results ;
  • July 15th, 2019: full paper submission (maximum 25,000 characters, notes included). All articles will pass a double-blind peer review process ;
  • September 2nd, 2019: announcement of selected articles ;
  • October 30th, 2019: publication of selected articles.

All proposals must be sent in either French or English at [email protected]