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ART&ItsInstitutions

Institutional critique is best known


through the critical practice that
developed in the late 1960s and early
1970s by artists who presented radical
challenges to the museum and gallery
system.
Since then it has been pushed in new
directions by new generations of artists
registering and responding to the global
transformationsofcontemporarylife.
Movingfromasubstantiveunderstanding
ofinstitutionasspecificplaces,
organisations,andindividualstoa
conceptionofitasasocialfield,the
questionofwhatsinsideandwhatis
outsidebecomesmuchmorecomplex.

AndreaFraser,FromtheCritiqueofInstitutionstoanInstitutionofCritique,
ARTFORUM,Sept.2005
Throughoutthe1960stherewasavirtualexplosionofart,ideologyandthinking
thatquestionedaccess,distributionandtheframe.

By1968,institutionswereliterallyunderattackliterally,theoristsand
philosopherswerealsoexaminingtherelationshipbetweenideologyandartistic
productionanditsintegrationwithsocialarthistorymethodology.

TheSituationistInternational,whosethinking,drewonMarxistsrootsoriginally
functionedanartisticavantgarde,butbecameovertlypoliticalanditscritiquesof
capitalistcultureespeciallybyGuyDebord,werecrucialtotheMay1968student
uprisings.ThedemonstrationsrevealedtoFoucaultthatthesupposedly
objectiveandneutralframeoftheinstitutioncouldbeideologicallycoopted
byforcesofpower,suchaspolice.Hisstrategyofrevelationwhichhethencalled
institutionalcritiqueinfluencedtheworkofDanielBuren,MarcelBroodthaers,
HansHaackeandothers.
RepressiveInstitutionalApparatuses:
Government
Administration
Army
Police
Courts
Prisons

IdeologicalInstitutionalApparatuses:

Religion[TheChurch]/Education[Schools,Universities]
TheFamily
Law/Politics
Communications[TV,radio,thepress]
Culture[Art,Literature,Sport]
Culture
In1963MarcelBroodthaers,apoetturnedvisualartistbegan
commenting on art as a commodity of exchange.
Usingfoundordiscardedmaterials,favoringeggshells,which
are "without content other than the air." Using antique
looking furniture and organic materials, Broodthaers
critiqued museum display and avoided modern products.
MarcelBroodthaers
(Belgian,19241976)

WhiteCabinetandWhiteTable
1965.Paintedcabinet,table,and
eggshells,cabinet337/8x321/4x24
(86x82x62cm),table41x393/8
x153/4"(104x100x40cm).
Broodthaers's Museum of Modern Art, Department of
EagleswasaconceptualmuseumcreatedinBrusselsin
1968.

It had neither permanent collection nor permanent


location,andmanifesteditselfin"sections"appearingat
various locations between 1968 and 1971. These
sectionstypicallyconsistedofreproductionsofworksof
art,fineartcrates,wallinscriptions,andfilmelements.

In 1970, Broodthaers conceived of the Financial


Section, which encompassed an attempt to sell the
museum "on account of bankruptcy." The sale was
announced on the cover of the Cologne Art Fair
cataloguein1971,butnobuyerswerefound.Aspartof
the Financial Section, Broodthaers also produced an
unlimited edition of gold ingots stamped with the
museum's emblem, an eagle, a symbol associated with
powerandvictory.Theingotsweresoldtoraisemoney
for the museum, at a price calculated by doubling the
market value of gold, the surcharge representing the
bar's value as art. Broodthaers's museum represents a
pioneeringefforttodisputetraditionalmuseumpractices
byappropriatingandalteringthem.
MuseumMuseum1972.Screenprintontwosheets,composition:
33x461/2"(83.9x118.2cm);sheet(each):33x231/4"(83x59.1cm).

Hereidenticalbarsofgold
bullionareeachstamped
withaneagle,areference
tothe"EagleDepartment"
inhisfictionalmuseum.
Ontheleft,theyarelabeled
withartists'names,suchas
Mantegna,Ingres,and
Duchamp,andontheright,
withnamesofcommodities
suchassugar,tobacco,and
chocolate.Thebarsalong
thebottomrowofeach
panelcarrythefollowing
captions:"IMITATION,"
"KOPIE,""COPIE,"
"FALSCH,"and
"ORIGINAL."
HansHaacke
(b1936Germany,livesUS)
'Information',anexhibitionatthe
MuseumofModernArtin1970,
claimedtobethefirstconceptualart
exhibitionmountedbyaU.S.museum.

TheartistHansHaackepositedthis
SYSTEMasart:aquery,aresponse
algorithm,anditsvisualfeedback.

MoMaPoll,1971
Question:
WouldthefactthatGovernorRockefellerhasnotdenouncedPresidentNixon's
Indochina policy be a reason for you not to vote for him in November ?

Answer:
If 'yes'please cast your ballot into the left box if 'no into the right box.

'Ballots' were dropped into either of two plexiglass ballot boxes [visitors
chose "yes" twice as often as "no"].

New York Governer Nelson Rockefeller was a member of the board of


trusteesofMOMAandplanningarunfortheU.S.Presidencyatthetime.
"Shapolskyetal.ManhattanRealEstateHoldings,aRealTimeSystem,asofMay1,1971"
Shapolskyetal.,ManhattanRealEstateHoldings,aRealTimeSocialSystem,as
ofMay1,1971,istheproductofHaackesresearchintotherealestateholdings
oftheShapolskyfamilyinManhattan.
HarryShapolskyhadattractedHaackesattentionbecausehewasthelandlord
whoownedmoreslumpropertiesthananyotherlandownerinNewYork.
HaackesresearchallculledfrompublicrecordsrevealshowShapolskys
businessworked,differentpropertiesbeingheldunderdifferentcompanynames.

Theseriesof142photographsofthefacadesoftenementbuildings,accompanied
bytypewrittendatasheets,addeduptoabitingindictmentofthemonopolyof
onefamilyofwealthyproprietorsovertheslumsofaparticulararea.

DuetobedisplayedinanexhibitionattheGuggenheimMuseuminNewYork
entitledHansHaacke:Systems,theworkwasdeemedinappropriatebythe
museumsmanagement,andtheGuggenheimdecidedtoclosedownthe
exhibition.Thecurator,whodefendedthework,wasfired.Asaresultofthe
ensuingfurore,Shapolskyetal.becameoneofthemosttalkedaboutworksof
theearly1970s.
In1974,HansHaackemountedanindexoftheGuggenheim
Museumscorporatesponsorsandboardoftrusteesalongthe
Guggenheims walls. The work, simply titled, Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum Board of Trustees, bared the political
and economic affiliations behind the exhibitions proverbial
curtain.ForHaacke,theworkssite(themuseum)becamethe
institutionalmembranelinkingartisticavantgardepractice
toglobalcorporateandpoliticalnetworks
DanGraham(1942US)

DanGrahamchallengesthe
framebyinextricablylinkingthe
dimensionofthewhitecubeto
theverynotionofperception,to
beseenandseeing(receptionand
refraction).

PalaisdeVersaillesPavillon,20092waymirror
glass,aluminium,MDF,acrylicpaintdimensions
1250x1070x420mm
TheGuerrillaGirls
TheGuerrillaGirlsareananonymousgroupofradicalfeministartists
establishedinNewYorkCityin1985,knownforposters,books,
billboards,appearancesandothercreativeformsofculturejamming
thatexposediscriminationandcorruption.Trainedasvisualartists,
theirfirstworkwasputtinguppostersonthestreetsofNewYork
decryingthegenderandracialimbalanceofartistsrepresentedin
galleriesandmuseums.Overtheyearstheyexpandedtheiractivismto
examineHollywoodandthefilmindustry,popularculture,gender
stereotypingandcorruptionintheartworld.Theyweargorillamasks
inpublicandtakethenamesofdeadwomenartistsaspseudonyms.
1985
Oneofthepostersthatstarteditall.
WeplasteredthemonthewallsofSoHointhemiddleofthenight.
1986
1989
AskedtodesignabillboardforthePublicArtFundinNewYork,wewelcomedthechance
todosomethingthatwouldappealtoageneralaudience.OneSundaymorningweconducted
a"weeniecount"attheMetropolitanMuseumofArtinNewYork,comparingthenumberof
nudemalestonudefemalesintheartworksondisplay.Theresultswerevery"revealing."

ThePAFsaidourdesignwasn'tclearenough(????)andrejectedit.Wethenrented
advertisingspaceonNYCbusesandranitourselves,untilthebuscompanycanceledour
lease,sayingthattheimage,basedonIngres'famousOdalisque,wastoosuggestiveandthat
thefigureappearedtohavemorethanafaninherhand.
LouiseLawler(B1947US)

WhyPicturesNow1981
IO,1993,byLouiseLawler
PollockandTureen,ArrangedbyMr.andMrs.BurtonTremaine,
Connecticut,1984,byLouiseLawler
ProbablyNotinthe
Show,2003
ByLouiseLawler
JANETCARDIFF(B1957Canada)&
GeorgeBuresMiller(B1960Canada)

TalkingaboutherworkMOMAWalk1999:

IwasvisitingthenewMoMArecentlyandItriedtofindtracesofwheremy
walkonceexisted.Thereisalittlebitleftofthefloortilesthatlooklike
clouds.Thereisonesectionoftheescalators.Youcanstillseethesculpture
garden.ThetwopaintingsthatItalkedaboutarestillthere,oneinacabinet
andoneinthenextroom.ButmostoftheplaceswhereIdidthewalkarenow
justspacesfloatingintheair.Thenarrativewasinspiredbythethemeofthe
show,thatofartistsbeinginfluencedbymuseumpracticeandtheideasof
collecting.
JANET CARDIFF Audio walk, 12:50 Curated by Kynaston McShine
with assistant curator Lilian Tone for Museum as Muse: Artists
Reflect. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
JANET CARDIFF Audio walk, 12:50 Curated by Kynaston McShine
with assistant curator Lilian Tone for Museum as Muse: Artists
Reflect. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Video walk, 18 minutes.
Curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn for the 53rd Carnegie International at
Carnegie Library. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA
Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Murder of Crows, 2008, sound and mixed-
media installation with audio speakers, amplifiers, computer, electronics,
miscellaneous media, 30 mins, installation view in 16th Biennale of Sydney 2008 at
Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay
PawelAlthamer(B1967Poland)
Frhling(Spring)attheKunsthalleFridericianumKassel
2009,heinvitedseveralhundredchildrenfromKasselto
occupyover1,000squaremetresofthishistorically
charged,worldfamousexhibitionsite,whichhadbeena
libraryandaparliamentbuildinginthepast.Hismainaim
wastoenlivenandtransformthemuseumwiththehelpof
thechildrensyouthful,bold,andaboveallstillfree
creativity.Thechildrenhavebeenthemainactors,while
Althamerplayedtheroleoftheirguestandassistant.
PawelAlthamer,givesawayhis
authorshipthroughthedelegationofart
makingtootherparticipants,oftentothe
underprivileged,suchastheinhabitantsof
theoutskirts,thehomeless,prisoninmates,
illegalworkers,streetmusiciansand,
repeatedly,teenagersandchildrenan
importantartisticpointofdeparture

Artassocialinteractionsocial
sculpture.
Althamerhasoftenchallengedstereotypicalnotionsofa
particularplacebycompletelyredesigningthegallery
spaceormanipulatingtheviewer'sperceptionofit.During
hisfirstsoloexhibition(titled,somewhatperversely,"The
Exhibition",1991),herestoredtheartistrungallerytoits
originalfunction.
Hecleanedtheplace,washedthefloor,scrapedthewhite
paintoffthetilestove,andbroughtinthenecessarypieces
offurnituresothatthegalleryonceagainbecamethe
apartmentitusedtobe.
In1996,Althamertransformedthecrampedspaceof
FoksalGalleryintoakindofwaitingroom,coveringthe
floorwithwhitelinoleum,mountingwhitebusseatsand
addinganextraglassdoor.Whenyouenteredthespace,
youfoundoutthatitledyououtside,toasmallgarden,
throughaholeknockedoutinthewallintheareausually
reservedforexhibitions.Theinstallationwaslaterlikened
toadecompressionchamberorameditationroom.
In2003,AlthamertransformedthespaceoftheprestigiousBerlin
gallery,theNeugerriemschneider,intoapicturesqueruin.Thegallery
remainedopen(orratherdesolate)24hoursaday,whichwas
interpretedasavanitastheme,orevenapessimisticforecastforthe
"artworld".
"Path"wascompletedfortheSkulpturProjekteinMnsterin2007.
In2001,Althamerinvitedtheaudienceofalecturehewastodeliverat
theCCAUjazdowskiCastleinWarsawforashort"Walk"
In2006heturnedhissoloshowatCentrePompidouin
Parisintoagroupshowfeaturingelevenyoungartists
basedinFrancewhoweregivenequalspaceforexhibiting
theirworks.Theshowwasprecededbyworkshopsin
PolandandFrance.Bychallengingthenotionofthe"art
worldcelebrity",Althamerwasabletomakeitpossiblefor
anumberofyoungartiststodebutinFrance'sleading
exhibitionspace.
AttheViennaSecessiongallery,Althamermakes
useoftheentirebuildingandthegarden,creating
atunnellikecorridor,accessiblearoundtheclock,
thatrunsthroughthebuildingstraightintothe
gardenbeyond,whereheinitiatesapublicsitefor
communicationwithsimplemeans.Anevening
campfireforAlthamerasymbolandarchetype
oftheroundtableactsasthecentreof
informalgatheringsandmeetings
Althamercreatesatunnellikecorridor,accessiblearoundtheclock,that
runsthroughthebuildingstraightintothegardenbeyond,wherehe
initiatesapublicsiteforcommunication
SantiagoSierra(B1966Spain)

68PEOPLEPAIDTOBLOCKAMUSEUMENTRANCE
MuseumofContemporaryArt.Pusan,Korea.October2000
68PEOPLEPAIDTOBLOCKA
MUSEUMENTRANCE
MuseumofContemporaryArt.Pusan,
Korea.October2000
HiringandArrangingof30WorkersinRelationtotheirSkinColour,
ProjectSpace,KunsthalleWien.Vienna,Austria.September2002
133PersonsPaidtoHaveTheirHairDyedBlonde
Arsenale.Venice,Italy.June2001
WALL ENCLOSING A SPACE, Spanish Pavilion. Venice Biennial. Venice, Italy. June 2003
WALL ENCLOSING A SPACE, Spanish Pavilion. Venice Biennial. Venice, Italy. June 2003
WALL ENCLOSING A SPACE, Spanish Pavilion. Venice Biennial. Venice, Italy. June 2003
http://eipcp.net/transversal/0106
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http://www.sfmoma.org/multimedia/videos/424
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NcTg20RnT8luPbmfoqfaNGz_U2NlHWQtXXW8dtEmJEsxaA6wW4yo1kcZiLG9WCJT
klgQ2YDz7PUPGZkN6JfQawKtrjdGNWRTpE0L5X7fq9HsFR4XIG5L&sig=AHIEtbSv2B5CRdq8
b_Brekv3ydUp5Lb8sw
http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/p_beuys_borrowed.html
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http://www.jstor.org/pss/778808
http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/stable/i231822
http://www.fionamcgregor.com/actions/deadart

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