[-empyre-] is: institutionalization was: art games pre computers

Daphne Dragona daphne.dragona at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 03:13:58 EST 2008

>  after some time the taxonomies, terms and ideas surrounding the art
>  migrate successfully to discourse, needing less and less of the art to
>  continue dissemination and even propagation. art 'collections' are
>  formed and markets build up around the practice. the artists feel then
>  that the field and it's ideas belong less and less to them and claim
>  'institutionalisation' to be at work. in the meantime the have built
>  something of a 'career' and will innovate their practice toward other
>  interests and the whole thing will begin again.

yes, there is this common classic question there: to what extend
artists themselves wish to be institutionalised?  they feel dependent
on the institutions but they critisize them at the same time. and of
course there have been so many interesting works by artists in modern
and contemporary art who challenged the museum as an institution
through the work.
The exhibition "The museum as a Muse: Artists Reflect " organised in
1999 by MOMA in NY documented great expressions of this contradiction.

Play and art seem to have a lot in common as notions or actions and
accordingly they do seem to share common problems. just like in the
case of art, the freedom of play seems to be at stake when it becomes
dependent. And similarly issues that have been discussed for art , are
now being brought up again for play. From art as a commodity we are
now faced with play as a commodity.

>  institutions are a tool that becomes a problem if it mistaken for the
>  purpose. this will, however, happen often. as such institutions exist
>  can be considered productively destructive, of course they need to be
>  opposed - that's part of their work.

>  worth mentioning i've worked almost exclusively as a freelance since
>  beginning my practice in 1996. institutions are an important part of
>  this being possible (especially) within a capital economy.

but the institutions are not the monsters to be blamed anyway.
i am working for institutions (full time or freelance) since if ve
finished my studies, it s almost a decade now. so i must say that i do
share any responsibility to a big extent.

And i think that the point today is to escape institutionalisation
within the institutions.
Proposing new readings, raising consciousness, allowing  to visitors
the freedom for new interpretations are ways to approach not only play
as an exhibition theme, but different issues of our times. And this is
what several institutions do today as it has also been mentioned in
previous posts.

Besides that, undoubtedly, play has an immediacy and a power as a
medium which is really unique and can actually bring changes into
institutions today ; it can bridge the gaps between artists and
audiences that art did not succeed to bridge, it can reach audiences
in a much more direct way; it can involve people directly with
activities like workshops or location based games.

Applying the policies of a collection or an archive system on play
scares me because it might lead us to the sacralisation of play forms
as museum objects, to their commodification as products or to the
deadness of these forms as archive listings.

If we think that this is unavoidable , I think that it is the
playfulness of play that should be somehow kept vivid by all means.

happy easter

"All instincts that are not allowed free play turn inward." - Nietzsche

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