Institutional Critique: Conditions and Possibilities
My research focuses on the artistic practice of institutional critique and approaches it from a historical-theoretical point of view. I am particularly interested in the structural and ideological conditions which lead to the emergence of critical practices within art institutions and their dissemination in the contemporary artistic discourse. I also pay attention to the prejudices and expectations with which we talk about institutional critique today.
Criticality has become a fashionable claim stated both by art institutions and artists, and indeed it sometimes serves the purposes of that which constitutes its object of critique (art institutions, the art world and the art market, etc.). In the art world and the art market, in galleries, museums and auction houses, in the globalised phenomenon of biennials and art fairs, critique becomes a recurrent theme-park and is progressively transformed into an object of aesthetic contemplation and consumption. My aim is to articulate a micropolitics of “what we want from art”, and I am thus searching for the manners in which art escapes from institutional significations and dominant social laws. The term “institutional critique” becomes thus a denominator of a specific state of critical intensity and I ask whether and how this state of the art is still possible. In the present situation of our society and culture I explore (and here I follow Foucault) whether and how it is possible to become, at the same time, an enemy and a friend of the very object we criticize.
I am trained in Philosophy at Al. I. Cuza University Iaşi and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. I benefited from several scholarships and residencies granted, among others, by Goethe Institut Berlin (2005) and Kulturreferat der Haupstadt München (2008). I have contributed to the establishment of the critical platform of the Periferic Biennial and the Vector_Art in Context Magazine. I translated and published texts and interviews in Framework (Finland), Boekman (Netherlands), Idea (Romania), collaborated with artists and curators within several art projects and curated Beneath the Remains Translations of Estrangement and the Politics of Survival (Arttransponder Kunstraum, Berlin, 2009). I am an active member of the Politicized Practice Research Group at the Loughborough University School of the Arts. Here I run (together with Mel Jordan) the open seminar “Art and the Artist in the Age of the Precariat“
My main interests are institutional critique, politicized aesthetics, philosophy of language, political / artistic activism, etc.
Recent conferences in the frame of which I presented / will present papers include the Sixth International Conference on the Arts in Society (Berlin, 2011), Third International Deleuze Studies Conference “Connect, Continue, Create” (Amsterdam University, 2010); Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety (University of Salford, 2010); and the Flow Festival (Kisinev, 2010).