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CORPORATE ARCADIAS. Cultural landscape studies and contemporary artistic practice on the Topos Arcadia.

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Abstract

Dan Graham’s 1987 article ‘Corporate Arcadias’ (Graham, Dan u. Hurst, Robin: "Corporate Arcadias", Artforum, No22, December 1987, S. 68-74.), published in the American Artforum, focuses on a contemporary architectural implementation of the antique European Topos of Arcadia, both a literary figure and a conception of space. He reflects the transformation of an -in its origin very exclusive- theme to a theme of cultural mainstream production, as one can see in his description of plazas, malls and themed spaces as ‘Corporate Arcadias’. As a researcher and professional artist I investigate a historical development of Arcadia, its narratives and authors, its spatial implementations and audience. Like Graham I develop an idea what a contemporary Arcadian format can be and what the purpose of Arcadian production in the field of cultural and leisure industries is today. At the same time it seems worth following contemporary artistic concepts of the Arcadian, which is not visible as a Genre anymore, like it was up to 19th Century, but can be a vehicle to react on current discussions about economy (‘nature’ to lure customer desires) and ecology (‘nature’ as resource). Here again is my linking to Graham’s work that is placed in two fields, the artistic practice and the scientific research. My lecture will give a short overview about the development of the traditional Topos Arcadia as a narrative landscape and its Templates in today’s leisure industry as well as its Traces in contemporary art.