Art and Heritage: Crossing Imaginaries In European Sites

    • Europe Inside-Out Nice 2016
    • Presentation speakers
      • Idalina Conde, ISCTE-IUL University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal


    This paper refers to a project, Dialogues with Images: Art Heritage and Narratives for Europe (2014-2016) that was in part inspired by the call for “A New Narrative for Europe”. An initiative launched by the Presidency of the European Commission along 2013-14. Besides debates and critical issues around the notion of a unique narrative for a plural Europe, it was relevant the focus on symbolical dimensions to search a new paradigm of thinking and even to re/create European imagery by new symbols be it by more radical forms of imagination as in contemporary art, or a renewed relationship with our historical heritage. In other words, rather than only the interpretation and preservation of it, a re/interpellation of the past driven by issues and gaze from the present. Moreover, the same period also coincided with the promotion of the heritage area as strategic for the European agenda by a resolution of the European Council in May 2014.
    Dialogues with Images explored an approach based on iconographies of art and historical heritage to reflect on Europe, meanings and narratives, which Europe? Among several lines, this paper selects a presentation of examples for that re/interpellation at crossroads of past and present by interventions of contemporary art in historic sites. From milestones as the Parthenon in Athens and the Colosseum in Rome, to memorials, museums, and public spaces, there is a diversity of involvements by artists with the European heritage and remembrance. The paper recalls with images some works by Gary Hill, Bill Fontana, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ilya Kabakov, Gustave Metzger, Atta Kim, among others.