BADco: :: ART, INSTITUTIONAL ‘DEAD LABOR’ AND LIMITS OF VALORIZATION
Within this symposium and its accompanying artistic programme we intend to problematize the shifting grounds of institutional evaluation and valorization in the art. Selection procedures such as curatorial concepts, institutional programmation, criticism, theory, funding priorities, project assessment, interpersonal connections, political clout and so on affect what is included and what remains outside the art system, but also how artworks engage with the broader socio-economic context. They define the types of work that are produced and that are not, the types of of work that are presented and that are not. In turn they re-configure subjectivities involved in the process of artistic production — i.e. roles and self-understanding of artists, curators, spectators, audiences, funders, etc.
However, the works that fall outside, escape and subvert these quantitative and qualitative boundaries of assessment, sometimes succeed in re-configuring the filtering mechanisms of valorization and sediment in the institutional knowledge that is applied toward future valorization. This is artistic ‘dead labor’ sedimenting in the circuitry of institutions. And while this dialectical process has been a constant topos of institutional critique, we want to focus on contemporary and ascendant forms of valorization and subjective determinations that they reproduce – for instance: project, practice, didactism, realism, etc. – and look at the works that try to undercut their centripetal force.
The question of valuation and valorization we consider particularly urgent as we are seeing – at least in our context – a confluence of several tendencies: criticism increasingly loosing significance with the crisis of print and broadcasting media, quantitative project assessment and audience metrics rising in the growing expansion of project-based work, and direct co-optation of cultural institutions by political appointments persisting in the face of mounting pressure to commercialize due to budget cuts.
Art, Institutional ‘Dead Labor’ and Limits of Valorization is part of TIMeSCAPES, Images and performances of time in late capitalism, a partner project of BADco. (Zagreb), Maska (Ljubljana), Science Communications Research (Vienna), Walking Theory (Belgrade), Film-protufilm (Zagreb) and Academy Of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.
With support of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Croatia and the Office for Education, Culture and Sport of the City of Zagreb.