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on the viewer, but refer s instead to creat ive exper iment at ion with exhibit ion convent ions.
Lewis Kachur, Displaying the Mar velous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali and the Surrealist Exhibit ion
(Cambr idge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001).
Under Sune Nordgren, the Balt ic in Gateshead had three “AIR” (Art ist-in-Residence) spaces for
art ist s’ studios, but these were only open to the public when the resident art ist chose; often the audience had to t ake the Balt ic’s claim to be an “art factor y” on trust . The Palais de Tokyo, by contrast , has
up to ten art ist s in residence at any one t ime. The Munich Kunstverein, under Mar ia Lind, sought a
different t ype of visible product ivit y: Apolonia Suster sic’s conver sion of the galler y entrance featured a
“work console,” where member s of the curator ial st aff (including Lind) could t ake turns manning the
galler y’s front desk, cont inuing their work in public.
B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Ever y Business
a St age (Boston: Har vard Business School Press, 1999). The Balt ic present s it self as “a site for the product ion, present at ion, and exper ience of contemporar y art” through “a heavy emphasis on commissions, invit at ions to art ist s, and the work of art ist s -in-residence” (www.balt icmill.com). Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 53 such as t he bar ( Jorge Pardo at K21, Düsseldor f; Michael Lin at t he Palais de
Tokyo; Liam Gillick at the Whitechapel Art Galler y) or reading lounge (Apolonia
Suster sic at Kunstverein Munich, or the changing “Le Salon” program at the Palais
de Tokyo), and in turn present t hese as works of art .6 An effect of t his insistent
promot ion of these ideas of art ist- as - designer, funct ion over contemplat ion, and
open- endedness over aesthet ic resolut ion is often ult imately to enhance the st atus
of the curator, who gains credit for st age-managing the overall laborator y exper ience. As Hal Foster warned in the mid-1990s, “the inst itut ion may over shadow the
work that it otherwise highlight s: it becomes the spect acle, it collect s the cultural
capit al, and the director- curator becomes the st ar.”7 It is with this situat ion in mind
that I focus on the Palais de Tokyo as my st art ing point for a closer inspect ion of
some of the claims made for “open- ended,” semifunct ional art works, since one of
the Palais’ codirector s, Nicolas Bourr iaud, is also their leading theor ist .
Relat ional Aesthet ics
Esthét ique Rélat ionnel is the t it le of Bourr iaud’s 1997 collect ion of essays in
which he attempt s to character ize art ist ic pract ice of the 1990s. Since there have
been ver y few attempt s to provide an over view of 1990s art , part icularly in Br it ain
where discussion has myopically revolved around t he Young Br it ish Art ist s (YBA)
phenomenon, Bourr iaud’s book is an import ant ﬁr st step in ident ifying recent
tendencies in contemporar y art . It also comes at a t ime when many acade...
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This document was uploaded on 02/20/2014 for the course PHILOSOPHY 244 at University of Tennessee.
- Spring '09