The seeds were planted by hand

Keywords: public art, city, gentrification, urban intervention


This text proposes an exercise in reflection on the reconfigurations of meaning and intervention potential that an iconic work of public art (Wheatfield - A confrontation, Agnes Denes, 1982), realized three decades ago, acquires when 'reactivated' at present by initiative Of the leaders of a powerful process of gentrification. A reflection on its instrumentalization according to the interests of each of the sponsors, but also on the urban facts that are revealed through what has been lost in it.

Author Biography

Marta Traquino, FBAUL
artista e investigadora, centros de investigação: CEC-FLUL and CIEBA-FBAUL.


Anselmi, G. (2015), in Condie, J. M., & Cooper, A. M. (Eds), Dialogues of Sustainable Urbanisation: Social Science Research and Transitions to Urban Contexts. Penrith, N.S.W.: University of Western Sydney, capítulo 41.

Disponível em:

Caselli, D.; Ferrari, M., "Acting in the emerging void. Notes on gentrification at Isola.", in Fight-Specific Isola: Art, Architecture, Activism and the Future of the City, Isola Art Center/Archive Books: Milan 2013 (pp. 335-361)

Denes, A. (1982), "The Dream", Critical Inquiry, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Summer 1990), The University of Chicago Press, pp. 919-939.

Disponível em:

Obrist, H. U. (2010), “Avere Fame Di Vento”, in M. Gioni (Ed.), What Good Is the Moon. The Exhibitions of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi and Hatje Cantz, Milan and Ostfildern, pp. 7-10.

Disponível em:

Dossier Articles