Caveat is a collective research project initiated by Jubilee, reflecting and acting on the ecology of artistic practice. Emptor continues along the methodology and efforts of Caveat. It actively applies the practice-based approach to 'property', a concept that highly defines the economy of visual arts.

Reading Room #24: To an Institution of Critique

Throughout her analysis of the art institution as the conception of a social field, stating that 'We are the institution!', Andrea Fraser invites us to think the institution as a common, embodied and performed by individuals, and re-think strategies of critique.

In between reading excerpts, everyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion on our possible roles in co-defining and creating the 'arts institution'.

In a future Reading Room #25, we will collectively read and reflect upon the positioning text of documenta 15. With 'lumbung', it proposes a shared access to what the institution of art can be.

Find the text here:

Caveat Reading Room #24: To an Institution of Critique

00:00 Introduction on Jubilee's Reading Rooms
Round of presentations

08:00 Introduction on the text: How do histories and futures of institutional critique relate to the ownership and accessibility of institutions?
Andrea Fraser's 'From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique' (Artforum 2005) is a very useful text to understand the possibilities of rethinking the infrastructure of the arts.

11:10 Ronny starts. What's an institution?
12:00 Clémentine continues
Q: Why would there be no outside the art institution?

17:20 Q: Is there a new need for an 'outside' of the institution?
<-> Philippe Pirotte at Documenta 15, "Step out....Step out, and join"

25:00 Buren: Both the studio and the museum should be investigated as the ossifying customs of art.

What encompasses the institution of art?

31:00 Gregory Sholette's 'Dark Matter': 1% of art world receives all light, while the dark matter of 99% all together give value.
<-> ruangrupa approach
<-> The speculative part of artistic community of actors.
<-> Market disrupted by NFTs
Kimmelman "operate with fiscal independence, in a public sphere beyond the legislative control of art experts"

37:00 European museum hypocrisy regarding economics, and comparisons with Anglo-Saxon notions of relations between institution and money.

50:00 Determination of art as art is a social rather than a aesthetic consideration.

59:50 A lot of art world professionals didn't want to visit documenta because of the threat posed by its artistic proposition away from commerciability. Whereas NFTs didn't scare them away.
1:03:00 NFT as instrumentalization of publics, documenta 15 as collectivity of publics.

1:05:00 Max reading from "Has institutional critique been institutionalized?"

1:07:00 Comparison with Rosa Luxemburg's evaluation of Capitalism: always looking for virgin islands.

1:14:00 How can we appropriate the art institution?

1:26:00 Kristien reading from "However, the fact that we are trapped in our field"

"Haacke's project seems to be an attempt to defend the institution of art from instrumentalization by political and economic interests."

" may be this very institutionalization that allows institutional critique to judge the institution of art against the critical claims of its legitimizing discourses, against its self-representation as a site of resistance and contestation, and against its mythologies of radicality and symbolic revolution"

1:38:00 On the term institution. Should we use the term 'organisation' instead?

1:45:00 "We are the institution" denies a kind of hierarchy.
Despite forward-thinking, open and humanist front...
...hierarchies persist in institutional contracts. What access is allowed, to whom, and under which circumstances?

Institute as a layering of people: staff, directors, board, funding bodies/governing authorities.

Ronny, after the end of the recording: What's missing from this text: this art instituiton is a cybernetic institution that protects itself, and you're not part of that.