Institution As Medium: Learning from Artist Initiated Institutions

MA in Visual Arts Administration

Institution As Medium: Learning from Artist Initiated Institutions

Date and Time: Friday, October 14, 2011, 6:30-8:00pm

Guest(s): Tania Bruguera & Alexandra Hodkowski

Performance and socio-political artist, Tania Bruguera presented two of her projects that could be considered artist-initiated institutions. She talked about Catédra Arte de Conducta (Behavior Art School), a space that offered alternative art training apart from Cuban art pedagogy, and her current project Immigrant Movement International (IM International), an artist initiated movement which operates out of a flexible community space in the multinational and transnational neighborhood of Corona, Queens, the movement's current headquarters. Year one of Immigrant Movement International is supported by The Queens Museum of Art, located in Queens╩╝ historic Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and Creative Time, a public art organization that sponsors art and artists all over New York City.

In conversation, Tania and Visual Arts Administration alumni, Alexandra Hodkowski discussed what went into making these "institutions" and, in a broader context, the history of artist initiated institutions, their relation to institutional critique and why new forms of institutions are needed. They touched on questions and ideas of how the rhetoric of management has influenced artists to use institutions as a medium, how the artist's work is changed by the restrictions given by already existing institutions, how artists can negotiate with institutions to do what they want to do and what the alternatives are when they cannot do the work as imagined.

Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Bruguera╩╝s work researches ways in which Art can be applied to the everyday political life; creating a public forum to debate ideas shown in their state of contradictions and focusing on the transformation of the condition of “viewer” onto one of “citizenry.” Bruguera uses the terms ARTE DE CONDUCTA (conduct/ behavior art) and ARTE UTIL (useful art) to define her practice.

Bruguera has participated in Documenta, Performa, Venice, Gwangju and Havana Biennales and at exhibitions at mayor museums in Europe and United States including the Tate Modern, The WhitechapelGallery, PS1, ZKM, IVAM, Kunsthalle Wien, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work is part of the collection of the Tate Modern; Museum für Moderne Kunst; Daros Foundation; Museo del Barrio; Bronx Museum; IVAM; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam.

A graduate of the MFA programs at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (United States) and Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba), Bruguera is also the Founder / Director of Arte de Conducta; the first politic art studies program in the world, hosted by Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. She is visiting faculty at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, IUAV in Venice and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.