For decades, “the project” was the predominant form of work in art. This detachment from the idea of the “work” had good reasons: Away from the market-shaped product, away from the autonomous artistic genius, away from the completed and towards the process. But for a long time now, the artistic logic has often become primarily an application logic: Instead of being able to work long-term and sustainably, artists shimmy from project to project….
And so, for some time now, a renewed change in the working methods of many politically and socially engaged artists in particular can be observed: away from temporary, precarious art projects to long-term structures of interference. These artists found organizations and institutions – but not as a means to an end. Rather, such organizations are themselves the actual artistic work. The institution becomes art and art becomes institution. Spaces of action and possibilities of influence are expanded, but also aesthetic possibilities, when symbolic practice is combined with structural effect.
The lecture introduces very different artist organizations: From Marina Naprushkina’s “Office for Antipropaganda” to the “School of Engaged Art” of the Russian group Chto Delat, Tania Bruguera’s “Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR)” and Renzo Marten’s “Institute for Human Activities (IHA)” to Yael Bartana’s “Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP)”, to the “Silent University” and the Vienna Wochenklausur.