Incorporating the Relational in Museums of Art

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  • Title: Incorporating the Relational in Museums of Art: Mapping the Institutional Trajectory
  • Author(s): Maria Nicolacopoulou
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
  • Keywords: Contemporary Art Museum, New Institutionalism, L’Internationale
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2326-9960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2104 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i02/1-12
  • Citation: Nicolacopoulou, Maria. 2019. "Incorporating the Relational in Museums of Art: Mapping the Institutional Trajectory." The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 14 (2): 1-12. doi:10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v14i02/1-12.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

The flattening of the world, following the accelerated development of technology and the internet at the turn of the century, saw as a result the turn to relational aesthetics and an institutional paradigm shift where it witnessed contemporary art programming and methodology placing public participation and audience engagement in the forefront of institutions’ redefined missions. The plurality of those participatory and social practice methods though, along with the exhibition programming prevalent in most of the modern art museums, have been misrepresented and misinterpreted by corporatization strategies of the experience economy in favor of large audiences, while on the opposite side, social work has come to misleadingly replace art practice. Where did it all go wrong? What kind of discursive practice renders an institution relevant to the dis course as well as true to the public’s needs? By tracing the development of social practice theory in the twenty-first century, from discursive biennials to New Institutionalism and its effect on institutional policy, programming, and methodologies as it evolved and entered the institution following the birth of Relational Aesthetics, this paper aims to identify key components in contemporary practice, and the notion of the “contemporary” toward the application of suitable curatorial formats and platforms within an institutional setting.