Institutional Critique Analysis

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The term “institutional critique” can simply be deconstructed and defined as a relationship between a method and an object. The method being the critical approach towards the object, with the latter being the institution. Looking back historically, the first movement of institutional critique emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This said critical approach was manifested through a specific kind of artistic practices, and was well defined, again, with the method being the artistic critique, and the art institution as the object being criticized, such as museums, galleries, and public or private collections. Institutional critique thus demonstrated itself in many creative ways, such as art works, interventions, critical writings and political…show more content…
Also, an inquiry into other institutions and practices began to emerge. Today, both eras are considered to be part of the art institution in the framework of art history, but also in contemporary art’s practices, as seen in one of Andrea Fraser’s works entitled “Museum Highlights” (1989), a video taped performance in which Fraser acts as a fictional museum guide under the pseudonym of Jane Castelon, leading Philadelphia Museum of Art’s visitors in a special critically customized tour. However, Fraser brings attention to the fact that it seems that institutional critique, interestingly, has become institutionalized. She mentions Daniel Buren’s installation at the Guggenheim, a museum which very famously censored his work in 1971 and the LA County Museum of Art hosting a conference called "Institutional Critique and After”. These two events can be considered as problematic. The aim of this paper is to call attention to the meeting between the two waves of institutional critique, that appears to have been acutely reversed in the present “rebound” of institutional critique, that perhaps may have brought emergence to a third…show more content…
Thus, they had to be prosecuted on aesthetic, political and theoretical levels. On the other hand, interestingly enough, it seems that the present and ongoing critical arguments against institutions are especially diffused by curators and administrators of the institutions themselves, and they are, for the most part, agreeing, rather than disagreeing with them. This makes the institutional critical arguments strengthening the institutions rather than destroying them. This phenomenon clearly shows that a shift has occurred in the direction of institutional critique, not only historically (as seen in the two waves) but also in terms of who is performing the critique. In this way, the critique has transferred from outside the institution to its inside. Curiously, Benjamin Buchloh, in his distinguished and much disputed essay entitled “Conceptual Art 1962–1969: From the Aesthetics of Administration to the Critique of Institutions” has labeled conceptual art as a movement taking its cue from institutional
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