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Amy Bryzgel

participating in the very activity that is being denounced in order to denounce it ’, this co-opting was unavoidable. 5 In other words, artists who engaged in institutional critique had no other option than to be conscripted into the capitalist machine, given that there would be no outside position from which to launch their critique. In Eastern Europe, there was generally no art market to speak of. In the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, the main patron of the arts was the state. Some form of a market economy did exist in Yugoslavia, but still none comparable to

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
Sruti Bala

the gestures of participatory art 1 Gestures of institutional critique We must know what mistake to make with a specific text and must also know how to defend that mistake as the one that will allow us to live. (Spivak, 2012, p. 28) In the context of contemporary art, the concept of ‘institutional critique’ refers to the scrutiny of the power of (art) institutions through artistic means. This might include a range of artistic practices: artworks that examine the modus operandi and hidden mechanisms of the institutions they are affiliated to or implicated in

in The gestures of participatory art

This book presents a study that undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It reconsiders the status of participation, with particular emphasis on participatory art both beyond a judgement of its social qualities as well as the confines of format and devising. The book attempts a cross-disciplinary discussion of participation, bringing together examples from the field of applied and community theatre, performance art and participatory visual arts. Gestures of participation in performance indicate possibilities for reconfiguring civic participation in public spaces in unexpected ways. Thus, less emphasis is laid on direct opposition and instead seeking a variety of modes of resisting co-optation, through unsolicited, vicarious or delicate gestures of participation. The book examines the question of institutional critique in relation to participatory art. It moves on to address the relationship between participatory art and the concept of 'impact'. A close examination of one workshop setting using the methodological framework of the 'theatre of the oppressed' in the context of a political party-led initiative follows. The book follows two conceptually inspired performance projects Where We Are Not? and If I Could Take Your Place? Finally, it emphasizes on how common-sense assumptions around audience participation in theatre and performance theory are called into question by the artwork's foregrounding of sleep as a mode of participation.


This book represents the first attempt to write a comprehensive account of performance art in Eastern Europe - the former communist, socialist and Soviet countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe - since the 1960s. It demonstrates performance art, which encompasses a range of genres, among them body art, happenings, actions and performance. In exploring the manifestations and meanings of performance art, the book highlights the diversity of artistic practice, moments and ways in which performance emerged, and its relationship to each country's sociopolitical climate. The book discusses 21 countries and over 250 artists, exploring the manner in which performance art developed concurrently with the genre in the West. It examines how artists used their bodies in performance to navigate the degrees of state control over artistic production and cultivate personalised forms of individual integration and self-expression of body, gender, politics, identity, and institutional critique. A comparative analysis of examples of performance art addressing gender-related issues from across the socialist and post-socialist East is then presented. The themes addressed provide local cultural and historical references in works concerning beauty, women's sexuality and traditional notions of gender. Artists' efforts to cope with the communist environment, the period of transition and the complexities of life in the post-communist era are highlighted. Artists during the communist period adopted performance art as a free-form, open-ended means of expression to give voice to concepts, relationships and actions that otherwise would not have been possible in the official realm of art.

Synchronicity in Historical Research and Archiving Humanitarian Missions
Bertrand Taithe
Mickaël le Paih
, and
Fabrice Weissman

’une institution critique ( Paris : Dalloz ). Riaño-Alcalá , P. and Baines , E. ( 2011 ), ‘ The Archive in the Witness: Documentation in Settings of Chronic Insecurity ’, International Journal of Transitional Justice , 5 : 3 , 412 – 33

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Building histories of queer and feminist art in North America

Histories of feminist, queer, and queer feminist art can be traced onto the histories of the institutions, organisations, collectives, and structures that have helped to secure and legitimise feminist and queer art practices. Building histories examines select feminist and queer alternative art spaces across Canada and the United States and the ways by which contemporary queer and feminist practices support and challenge the dominant narratives through which these histories have commonly been understood. Beginning with an exploration of the foundational histories of feminist art, the book examines how queer and feminist institutions have taken divergent paths in subsequent decades, and how they might be read through the spaces, communities and cities that provide the conditions for their cultivation. The book contributes to the development of histories of sites of feminist and queer cultural production and considers the enduringly precarious position of feminist and queer art histories relative to more mainstream art histories. It also examines how present-day queer and feminist artists engage and respond to the histories, spaces, and institutions they have inherited.

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Understanding the archival turn in contemporary art

Art + archive: Understanding the archival turn in contemporary art examines the meaning and function of the notion of the archive in art writing and artistic practices c. 1995–2015. The book takes on one of the most persistent buzzwords in the international artworld, adding nuance and context to a much-discussed but under-analysed topic.

The study’s first part outlines key texts about archive art, the interdisciplinary theories these build on, and the specific meaning the archive comes to have when it is brought into the artworld. The second part examines the archive art phenomenon in relation to materiality, research, critique, curating and temporality. Instead of approaching the archive as an already defined conceptual tool for analysing art, the book rethinks the so-called archival turn, showing how the archive is used to point to, theorise and make sense of a number of different conditions and concerns deemed to be urgent and important at the turn of the twenty-first century. These include the far-reaching implications of technological changes; the prevalence of different forms of critique of normative structures; changes to the view of the art object; and the increasing academicisation of artistic practices. This book shows that the archive is adaptable and elastic, but that it is also loaded with a great deal of theoretical baggage. It clarifies why, how and with what consequences the archive is referenced and mobilised by contemporary artists and art writers.

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Sara Callahan

practice known as institutional critique is often presented as a precursor to archive art; several of the artists identified as contemporary practitioners of institutional critique are also considered exemplary of archive art. 3 It might seem that archive art is a new label for what has been around for several decades, a kind of ‘institutional critique 2.0’. 4 Although it is clear that the two share a great deal, rather than considering archive art as derivative of

in Art + Archive
From Hans Haacke’s Systems Theory to Andrea Fraser’s feminist economies
Nizan Shaked

of the market by the artist Hans Haacke was doing at a show about the social construction of gender and its implications for the subject.2 Haacke developed his practice from engagement with what he called “real-time systems,” into what has come to be canonised as “institutional critique,” but he was not explicitly concerned with feminism or the question of gender. At face value the answer is simple: the work focused on the representation of women, as its subject matter was a sketch of three nude women by the post-impressionist artist Georges-Pierre Seurat. Haacke

in The synthetic proposition
Anne Ring Petersen

impact of the postcolonial position in greater detail, firstly by analysing its underlying notion of cultural identity as well as its institutional critique, and, secondly, by tracing how this critique has paved the way for greater recognition of artists from non-Western diasporas in an increasingly globalised art world. One of the aims of this chapter is to work through the binarisms and simplifying categorisations of classic identity politics in the visual arts. This critical revision provides a basis for the attempt to move away from dichotomous ways of thinking

in Migration into art