Published by Floating Opera Press, 2022
Faced with waning state support, declining revenue, and forced entrepreneurialism, museums have become a threatened public space. Simultaneously, they have assumed the role of institutional arbiter in issues of social justice and accountability. The canon of Institutional Critique has responded to the social embeddedness of art institutions by looking at the inner workings of such organisations and has found them wanting.
In After Institutions, Karen Archey expands the definition of Institutional Critique to develop a broader understanding of contemporary art’s sociopolitical entanglements, looking beyond what cultural institutions were to what they are and what they might become.
Karen Archey speaks to Pierre d’Alancaisez about the histories and futures of Institutional Critique, the museum’s neoliberal catch-22, and about an exhibition that didn’t happen.
Karen Archey is Curator of Contemporary Art at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Formerly based in Berlin and New York, she worked earlier as an independent curator, editor, and art critic, writing for publications such as Artforum and frieze.
- Lawrence Weiner, A Square Removal from a Rug in Use, 1969
- Mel Bochner, Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art, 1966
- Seth Siegelaub, The Xerox Book, 1968
- Hans Haacke, Condenstation Cube, 1963-68
- Steyerl, Hito. ‘The Institution of Critique’. In Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique, edited by Gerald Raunig and Gene Ray, 13–20. London: MayFlyBooks, 2009
- Mario García Torres, Preliminary Sketches for the Past and the Future (Stedelijk Museum), 2007
- Isa Genzken, Ohr (Ear), 1980
- Josh Kline
- Park McArthur, Ramps