Reconsidering Institutional Critique
15 July 2010
FAR – Villa Sucota
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“Institutional critique” refers to art that reflects critically on its own institutional housing in galleries and museums, or on the conceptual category and social function of art itself. Such concerns have been a part of modern art in one way or another since its inception, but they take on newly focused purpose in the late-1960s and early 1970s, driven by the
social upheaval of the period and enabled by the stylistic tools developed by conceptual art. It is only then that institutional critique can be said to become a genre unto itself. The lecture explored institutional critique through an array of questions including: What was the aim of this new artistic phenomenon? What motivated it? What were its working characteristics? What are its legacies?
Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History at Barnard College, is the author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2003). His essays have appeared in a wide array of journals and exhibition catalogues. He has also edited and co-edited a number of volumes, most recently Art After Conceptual Art (2006) and Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists' Writings (2009).