In the context of contemporary art, the concept of 'institutional critique' refers to the scrutiny of the power of institutions through artistic means. This chapter focuses on the challenges and conundrums of institutional critique from the vantage point of participatory practices. It examines the formation of participatory art as a genre, specifically community-based, applied art, as emergent from the critique of mainstream art institutions. The chapter examines their disciplinary configurations within the arts. The history of participatory theatre practices across the world testifies to an institutional critique in a combination of gestures of fleeing from, forging new and transforming existing relationships to institutions. The chapter also examines the institutional affiliations and entanglements of participatory projects, and how they operate within or against their supporting institutions in different ways. The disciplinary variations of participatory art demonstrate how nomenclature is a contextual practice.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.