This book offers original interdisciplinary insights into cities as a diachronic creation of urban art. It engages in a sequence of historical perspectives to examine urban space as an object of apparent quasi-cycles and processes of constitution, exaltation, imitation, contestation and redemption through art.
Urban art transforms the city into a human-made sublime which is explored in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean. The book probes this process primarily through the example of Athens and Byzantine Constantinople, but also Jerusalem, Cyprus and regional cities, revealing how urban space unavoidably encompasses a spatial and temporal palimpsest which is constantly emerging. It presents new ideas for both the theorization and sensuous conception of artistic reality, architecture, and planning attributes. These extend from archaic, classical and Byzantine urban splendour to current urban decline as constitution and attack on the sublime and back. Urban processes of contestation and redemption respond recently to the new ‘imperialism of debt’ and the positivist, technocratic understandings and demands of Euro-governments and neoliberal institutions, while still evoking older forms of spatial power.
Offering fresh notions on art, architecture, space, antiquity, (post)-modernity and politics of the region, this book will appeal to scholars and students of geography, urban studies, art, restoration, and film theory, architecture, landscape design, planning, anthropology, sociology and history.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Urban Art Between Archetypal Sublimity and Ultramodern Insurgency
Part 1: Creating, Imitating and Destroying the Urban Sublime and Its Materiality: From Athenian Classicism to Neoclassicism and the Present
1. Ancient Greek Cities as Works of Art
2. Assaulting the Archetypes: Urban Materiality and the Current Adulation and Hatred for Marble in Athens
Part 2: The Artistic Sublime of the Byzantine Cosmopolis: Between Imitation of Classicism and the Christian Dogma
3. On Real and Imaginary Cities. Textual and Visual Representation of Cities and the Perception of Urban Space in the Byzantine World
4. Art as Carrier of the Identity and Reflection of the Great Polis (Constantinople) and the Sacred Polis (Jerusalem) in Byzantine Provinces
Charalampos G. Chotzakoglou
5. Depictions of the Virgin in an 11th-Century Panel at Sinai as Perception of the City of Constantinople
6. Between Convention and Reality. Visual Approaches to the City in Post-Byzantine Icon Painting
Part 3: Current Crisis and Urban Insurgency as Contestation of the Urban Sublime: From Comprehensive Theory to Athenian Praxis
7. Urban Insurgency as Political Art
8. Athens, Invisible City: From Neoclassical Re-Construction to the Dystopia of the Crisis and Its Contestation by the Urban Grassroots
9. Bodies in the City: Athenian Street Art and the Biopolitics of the ‘Greek Crisis’
Part 4: (Re)-Constituting the Sublime City: Nature, Sculpture, Architecture, Film and Politics in Representations of Modern and Ultramodern Space
10. Urban Gardening as a Collective Participatory Art: Landscape and Political Qualities Related to the Concept of the ‘Sublime’
11. ‘Trikoupis Refuses to Unveil Himself in Order Not To See.’ A Memorial Statue and National Identity in Early 20th-Century Greece
12. Dialogues with Modernity in the City of Ioannina: Aris Konstantinidis, Natalia Mela and Paris Prekas
13. Painting Versions of the Athenian Landscape: Spyros Vassiliou and Yiannis Adamakis
14. The Mythical Landscape of Andrei Tarkovsky: Notes on the Interpretation of Cinematic Space in Stalker
Argyro Loukaki is Professor of Greek Art, Architecture and Urban Planning at the Hellenic Open University (HOU). Her research interests include space conception, representation and aesthetics; art in the urban and architectonic space; cultural heritage and restoration of monuments; Mediterranean cultural geography, art, architecture and landscape; the geographical unconscious; links between architecture, art, planning and literature. Her previously published titles with Routledge are Living Ruins, Value Conflicts and The Geographical Unconscious.