The works in Anti-Establishment constitute artistic practices that, in various ways, radically utilize and recommit to the notion of “the institution,” while nevertheless demanding of it new functions and effects. If institutions are very often conflated with “the establishment”—monolithic, static, and hierarchical societal and artistic systems against which avant-garde and countercultural productions can be seen—this exhibition sets the two apart, arguing for institutions as more limber sites, perpetually de- and re-constructed by the people who create, inhabit, and dismantle them. Here, the very definition of the institution is placed in brackets, and reconsidered in terms of its current limits and future possibilities. Ranging from meditations on medium specificity (“institutions” of painting, sculpture, film, and dance, for instance) to modes of production and exchange (collective, corporate, immaterial) and reimagining how we inherit the past (as lateral legacies, non-oedipal fantasies, networked opposition), Anti-Establishment argues for a reconception of the very foundations on which any institution might rest.
Published by the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
Softcover, 36 pages