The symposium will try to come to terms with the event-orientation of the art field and art institutions; it will explore, as thoroughly as possible, the meaning of this general change in the nature of the work of art institutions, which only a few decades ago were calmly and quietly exhibiting “static” art production on walls and pedestals. The art field seems to be, in this sense, an entirely unreflected structure, although its event production has reached extraordinary dimensions thanks to the large and ever-growing number of art institutions. In this context, we should also emphasize explicitly the fact that in recent decades art institutions have not only preserved and exhibited contemporary art, but they have also been commissioning and producing it (along with all the other events). Because art institutions have thus become commissioners of contemporary art, similar in type and dimension to what the aristocracy and the church once were, it seems all the more necessary to consider in precise terms what such processes mean.

We will ask ourselves such questions as: What kinds of speech and iconography are thus created, and why? What kinds of communities are thus formed, and why? How are all these things included in the general operation of society and how do they behave as a contemporary ideological apparatus?

A varied cast of anthropologists, philosophers, historians, and art historians have been announced: Luisa Accati, Beatrice von Bismarck, Thomas Fillitz, Dario Gamboni, Werner Hanak-Lettner, Nathalie Heinich, Bojana Kunst, Henrietta L. Moore, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl, Roger Sansi-Roca. (Abstracts of the lectures and speakers CVs.)

Friday, 4 November, 11 p.m.–7 p.m.

Saturday, 5 November, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Symposium schedule (.pdf).

Location: the auditorium of the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija), Cankarjeva 15, Ljubljana.

Admission is free.

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