CRITICAL-INSTITUTIONAL, The Legacy of Institutional Crtiique in Contemporary Practice: A Case Study of ZK/U Berlin
This thesis analyzes contemporary institutional practice at ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin through the lens of the art historical and discursive legacy of institutional critique. It aims to uncover how institutional-critical thought and practice inform the functioning of cultural organizations today. Through a literature study on the development of institutional-critical practice and discourse over more than ϐifty years, an analytical framework is designed, which is then applied to the case study of ZK/U through the methodology of participant observation. Focussing on the interplay of the institution’s self-understanding, its social, political and economic context, and actual practice of operation, this thesis makes a claim for a practice-based, contextualized understanding of art-institutional practice. It argues that both academic research and institutional-critical practice need to have a particular sensitivity for the situatedness of artistic, curatorial and institutional practice. As an analytical tool, institutional critique can provide this sensitivity, and help to develop new forms of critical-institutional activity.
Faculteit der Letteren