The Mousetrap Book. On dealing with art institutions in contemporary curatorial practice
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“The Mousetrap Book: On dealing with institutions in contemporary curatorial practice” is a reader with the proceedings from the conference under the same title at Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdansk in October 15-16 2005 in collaboration with Buro Kopernikus in Berlin.
Mousetrap Authors: Barnabas Bencsik, Sebastian Cichocki, Hedwig Fijen, Maria Hussakowska, Maria Lind & Nina Montman, Dorota Monkiewicz, Vanessa Joan Muller, Barbara Steiner, Andrzej Szczerski, Aneta Szylak, Thomas Wulffen.
The term “Mousetrap” in this context is being used in conjunction with Rube Goldberg’s machine project, which influenced the imagination of many, starting from artists and ending with computer game creators. The very idea of big and funny machinery that accomplishes little appears to be a good metaphor for the ambivalence with which the art institution is being seen today.
The entrapment of the artists or the curator, and sometimes even the artwork, in the context of a complicated and structured institutional engine is more than a shared conviction. It is a commonplace. But there is a treat inside the trap that makes it also alluring and attractive. The questions we are asking concern the position of the curator working within the institutional structure and outside it. How can one overcome the obstacles of institutionalisation? Are there any subversive strategies that allow the independent curator to collaborate with such a structure? What about an independent becoming a part or even the head of an institution? How can the artists circumnavigate the boundaries of an institutional framework? And what about new concepts and examples of institutions, anti-institutions or quasi-institutions?
There is a good portion of new and innovative projects or older institutions getting a refreshed image in the reaction to the collapsing institutional décor. Regardless of that, the availability of funding for spectacular institutional projects puts art professionals into the game between fulfilling public expectations and realising individualistic ideas. Focusing on this cultural phenomenon, “The Mousetrap” brings together curators working within and outside these structures, as well as art theorists and historians. Many of them share their expertise between the fields of theory and practice. The intention of the book is to give an insight into today’s reflections and practices in encounters with institutions.
English proof-reading: Tadeusz Z. Wolanski
Graphic Design: Adam Chylinski
Cover illustration: Grzegorz Klaman, I hate this system, 2005, the project for the Mousetrap Conference.
|Wydawnictwo||Instytut Sztuki Wyspa|
|Liczba stron||65 175x225 mm|
|ISBN / ISSN||978-83-924665-1-2|