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  • Title: Zlín: Public Art in the Postindustrial Landscape
  • Author(s): Jana Šnédarová
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
  • Keywords: Accessibility, Creativity, Engagement, Functionalist Architecture, Participation, Public Art, Public Space, Urbanism
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2326-9960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2104 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i01/23-35
  • Citation: Šnédarová, Jana. 2019. "Zlín: Public Art in the Postindustrial Landscape." The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 14 (1): 23-35. doi:10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i01/23-35.
  • Extent: 13 pages


Although the issue of Zlín functionalist architecture and urbanism has been examined in detail, and we can study the findings in many literary sources including monographs, journals, and catalogues from international conferences on the “Zlín phenomenon,” the topic of public art in the urban environment of the city has not been explored yet. Unlike other cultural and art centers, there was no artistic tradition and continuity in the utilitarian environment of the industrial city. Nevertheless, since the beginnings of its modern history, which is closely related to the development of the Bat’a shoemaking factory, public art has gained an indisputable place in this “model city” of functionalist architecture. Over time, covering the period since the 1930s, the atmosphere of the city and perception of the public space has changed and so have the works of art intended for the public space—sculptures, objects, installations—changed in agreement with the contemporary art movements and trends. This shows that Zlín can be seen not merely as an industrial urban area, but also as a city of culture and design, as a unique place where public art has become an integral part to the urban space of the city of Zlín. Nowadays, more than ever before, public art is aimed at stimulating people’s creativity and inviting active participation and engagement in the process of creation and dialogue between an observer and a work of art. It offers a variety of interpretations and reflects both the history and the present-day changes in the society and the way how we see and experience the world. It is evident from the research that the issues of public’s engagement and interaction require the widest accessibility of public art, both physical and emotional or intellectual. In this context, Zlín can be perceived as a place with a great potential for new art projects, for the public’s participation and for education through art.