Exhibition Exploitation: the artful use of art and advertising in urban spaces


  • Alessandro Campolo Università di Bologna




Urban space can be a powerful display that offers great chances to media marketing and communication in general. Nowadays, every kind of architecture or structure in the city is part of an expanded scenic backdrop suitable to perform spectacular acts expressing either ephemeral or permanent values. Mutating faster than its architecture, the urban scenario becomes the archetype of social and cultural changes. The contemporary city is the favored place for any kind of communication or intensive propagation of ideas and “suggestions”. Its spaces are contended by art and advertising which, through interventions and a constant crossover process, find a confluence in their specific intents. While the artistic act often exploits urban space for social or promotional purposes, trying to give more visibility to the city’s abandoned or deteriorating places, instead advertising exploits the city’s most visible spots for commercial purposes. But all over the years art and advertising have changed, too. Both have reinforced their connection with each other and both have borrowed tools from each other; in fact, today their parameters and strategies are mixed. The observer or the city user, who is often unaware of this ambiguous communication, frequently assimilates the message but confuses its real meaning.



How to Cite

Campolo, A. (2013). Exhibition Exploitation: the artful use of art and advertising in urban spaces. Figure, 1(1), pp. 53–72. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2038-6184/4068