A arte pública entre património e ideário. O itinerário artístico de Siah Armajani

Translated title of the contribution: Public art between heritage and ideario. The artistic itinerary of Siah Armajani

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Siah Armajani (1939-) is an Iranian born sculptor who quite young emigrated to USA, where he began an artistic career in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Beyond being the author of a vast and acknowledged sculptural work, Siah Armajani is also an essayist, having authored “Manifesto public sculpture in the context of american democracy” (Armajani, 1995), which was written for the exhibition “Reading Spaces” he presented, in 1995, at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). The value of Armajani’s work comes from its engagement to an unequivocal social-utopic-artistic ideario that problematizes the prevalence of the authorship’s statute regime, while rejecting the self-referential character of the artistic work, being both aspects quite unusual in the field of contemporary art production. Aesthetically contemporary, Armajani’s work succeeds to solve one of the bitter dilemmas of modern and contemporary art, as Arnold Schoenberg brightly put into words: “if it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art” (Schoenberg, 1950, p. 124). Curiously, Armajani’s public sculpture ideario is not absolutely unique. In several points, it matches the one of the movement in favour of public art, which by the end of the 19th century had been formed in Belgic, giving birth to the organization of four public art international congresses, two of them having documented Portuguese participation, as we will see in the first section of this paper.
Translated title of the contributionPublic art between heritage and ideario. The artistic itinerary of Siah Armajani
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)101-125
Number of pages25
JournalRevista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2020


  • Public art
  • International Institute for Public Art
  • Heritage
  • Siah Armajani
  • Manifesto


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