Founded in Mexico by Alejandro Mendoza, Cuban artist resident in the United States, with production and logistics by Noor Blazekovic, Giants in the City is part of the innumerable art efforts for urban environment and has a consolidated path. As Mendoza says, it is a three-dimensional project for public space based on inflatable sculptures.1 Each artist designs his or her work and collaborates in the production. Then the work becomes part of the collection, although the author preserves its control and ownership.
Giants in the City is also itinerant and ephemeral. It had its premiere in the city of Miami in 2008, but has already been received in six countries: Mexico, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Monaco and Sweden. In the eagerness to project the works with the greatest reach possible, it has been exhibited in parks and squares, and even in some beaches, as happened in Aruba, where a small selection of the works could be seen in Baby Beach and in Wilhelminapark, the main square in Oranjestad, the capital of this small Caribbean island.
In its programmed “lightness”, Giants in the City relinquishes the orthodoxies of urban monuments and public works with a permanent nature to insert itself and influence the public sphere starting from the expansion of the artistic field and its displacement to the territory taking shape in daily events. Thus it endorses the utopia of democratizing this sphere through the dialogue between the oeuvre and the spectator in a pleasant way, through a more direct, playful or participatory relationship with the forms of art.2 It could then be said that Giants in the City goes in search of these audiences of which Hal Foster talked, whether it be the passers-by, the anonymous beings surrounding and crossing the cities or their social communities, positioning with the will of widening the reach and functions of the field of art.
- Text by Alejandro Mendoza for the catalogue of the First Biennial Meeting of Caribbean Contemporary Art, Aruba, 2011-2012.
- This is a highly current issue, problematically and theoretically discussed, because of its innumerable questionings. Consult: Deutsche, Rosalyn. “Agoraphobia,” MIT Press, Massachusetts, digital version published by Criterios, Havana.