Previously at the ICA - Events

Image: Martha Rosler: Garage Sale

Institutional Critique: Can the Institution Ever Criticise?

29 Oct 2008

In 2005, Martha Rosler restaged her piece from 1973, Garage Sale. The exhibition offered a piece of institutional critique on object festishism, the act of buying and selling, and the notion of an 'art exhibition'. Rosler was by this point a known entity, however, an institution in herself. Is all critique eventually undone, institutionalised, aestheticised? Or did the restaging prove the persistent validity of such a project?

Art into Society: Society into Art (ICA, 1974) brought together the greatest agent provocateurs of their day - Hans Haacke, Gustav Metzger and Joseph Beuys. Are such attempts at undoing the binary oppositions suggested by that exhibition title still pertinent? Was truly anti-institutional exhibition-making simply channelled into live art and happenings, events and music, leaving the exhibition the place for historicised critique? Did we stop chewing the fat of Beuys's critique when we started preserving it?

Speakers on this panel include Roger Malbert, senior curator, Hayward Touring Exhibitions, artist Carey Young, Dave Beech, artist and member of the Freee collective, Simon Sheikh, critic and curator, Berlin, and Peter Osborne, director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, and an editor of the journal Radical Philosophy.

The discussion is chaired by Victoria Preston, deputy director, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva and PhD candidate, Birkbeck, researching Institutional Critique.

Developed in association with Ben Cranfield and the London Consortium. Ben Cranfield is a collaborative doctoral award student at the ICA and London Consortium, currently working on an intellectual history of the arts in postwar Britain.

In association with the London Consortium and London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise


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