본문 바로가기
  • Home

From Institutional Critique to New Institutionalism: The Dynamics between Artists and Curators

Eunhee Yang 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The 2002 Gwangju Biennale invited twenty-six artists' initiatives and groups for its 《Project 1》. The groups' acceptance of the invitation seemed ironic since the large-scale Korean biennial had become a spectacle to highlight cultural development and economic confidence to the rest of the world and aspiring to be like the Venice event while the invited groups formed their reputation by critiquing mainstream art institutions' practices in favor of alternative attitudes. By agreeing to join the biennial, these group initiatives took the risk of abandoning their own values. How can this abrupt change of value system be interpreted and reconciled?Inspired by the 'New Institutionalism' which grew strong in some of the European museums, this paper finds answers by examining how contemporary curators came to assume the role of the avant-garde by transforming the mission and the practices of the museums and biennials. I trace how the avant-garde spirit showered not only artists who were normally categorized as practitioners of Institutional Critique but also curators who emerged in the 1990s via the diverse contemporary art exhibitions such as international biennials. Also, I examine non-exhibition practices by museums such as Rooseum in Malmo, Sweden and the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK to illustrate the progress achieved with the idea of the New Institutionalism. My conclusion is that it is noteworthy to pay attention to the diagnosis of European critics who see the small-scale, not-for-profit spaces in Asian countries as the alternative to the failed New Institutionalism in European museums.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.