The Millenaris Park, MuseumsQuartier, and Tate Modern:
New Social Spaces of Art in Budapest, Wien, and London

By Allan Siegel (Budapest)

Allan Siegel is a lecturer in the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. He is working on a film about Roma music in Central Europe.

Extract :

"The cultural centre and the social space of art

Within the lexicon of urban structures and activities that characterise the daily lives of those who live, work within or visit cities, we can perceive the reflections of the urban phenomenon wherein “space takes for us the relations among sites.”6 Space is thus not the individuation of the daily environmental, lived, experiential realities but rather their “connectedness.”

Space documents the linkages, the transitions and segues from private space to public space, indoor to out: movements from habitat, across-the-yard, down-the-stairway, into-the-SUV (with GSM and CD sound system), descend-into-the-metro, board the tram or trolley and the journey in reverse.

Routes of transit, places of transition or employment, nodes of activity (or repose) represent composite forms of social space.7 They also spatialise the ideological markers that delineate the characteristics of a historical moment.

The social spaces that define the realms of art are formed from networks of activities connecting art ists, schools, museums, galleries, curators, and critics; all those institutions and individuals that shape the production, exhibition or valorisation of objects and events that characterise this domain of social activity. As sites of performance, exhibition and leisure, they are places of social refraction that can restrain or generate discourse.

By examining the changing qualities and characteristics of these nodes it is possible to gain insight into the distinguishing features or peculiarities of a part icular social space and its consequence within an urban reality. How do new buildings of exhibition or performance transform neighbourhoods and what do they imply in terms of cultural production? From one historical frame to another, via the morphology of these social spaces, is it possible to envision the changing dimensions of an art praxis?"

Modified on Saturday 10 September 2005